330 Bay Street,
The other day I had a catch up dinner with one of the bffs that I haven't seen for a while. Jess is quite a busy little one! At first we wanted to go to The Gaberdine for some comfort food, but it was so packed we ended up coming here to Mercatto (@MercattoTO). Not too bad a fall back plan, I ended up finding a new favourite dessert here! (don't worry, I'll get to this later =] )
Take Away Counter
Pretty dining room with lots of chandeliers
An open kitchen where chefs are hard at work!
The menu is printed right on the place mat, and consists of 4 main cateogries:
Appetizers, Pizzas, Pastas, and Entrees.
The meal started off with some complimentary bread. Warm and toasty, with a pat of butter; just perfect!
"Fritto Misto" ($12) -shrimp, calamari, crispy chickpeas, smoked ketchup
Jess is a big fan of calimari, she orders it every time we go out! I didn't mind it though, and I enjoyed the lightly battered array of seafood that the Fritto Mistro came with. The smoky ketchup was a nice addition, but surprisingly enough my favourite part of this was the fried chickpeas. So crunchy and good!
"Arugula" ($8)-apples, walnuts, lemon vinigrette, pecorino
We thought we'd keep our digestive systems in order by ordering a plate of greens to go along with our carbohydrate heavy Italian meal. I suggested the Argula salad because I love apples in salads. Not overly drenched in salad dressing, and a sprinkle of cheese.
"Spagehtti" ($16) -pork meatballs, tomato, smoked provolone
Whenever I visit an Italian restaurant, I try to order something I can't make at home. But I guess sometimes it pays off to stick to the classics. The pork meatballs in this Spaghetti was delicious. It tasted freshly made with lean meat, and none of that other preserved junk. While I really liked the meatballs, I found the spaghetti to be lacking sauce. As a result, it was dry and bland.
"Diavola Pizze" ($15) -spicy sopressata, tomato, mozzerella, basil
This was a nice thin crust pizza, but was not very memorable for me. I did like the spicy sopressata that gave a kick to the otherwise plain pizza, but nothing too special. It also very quickly became unappetizingly tough and chewy after it cooled. Make sure you eat this promptly!
"Tiramisu" ($7) -italian cookies, espresso, mascarpone
We were quite full, but decided it wouldn't be a meal without dessert! I had envisioned the Tiramisu to be in cake form, so was surprised when it came in this small little glass jar. It is filled with balls of cake soaked in coffee and mascarpone cheese. I really liked the cheese filling which was thick, creamy, and smooth. The cake balls, not so much. I found there was too much coffee, and so the cake was a little soggier than I would've liked. Still quite good though.
"Torta" ($6) -lemon cake, blueberries, whipped
This second dessert we ordered I liked much better than the Tiramisu. It really surprised me how much I liked it because I generally don't like anything with lemon (It just makes me feel like I'm eating dish detergent!) But this, was just heavenly. A moist buttery cake that is not as heavy as pound cake, but light enough to melt in your mouth along side the generous heaping of whipped cream. The light hint of lemon went well with the sugared blueberries. My new favourite lemon dessert!
Overall, this was a nice place to grab some casual classic Italian fare. You're not going to get anything too fancy here, but nothing sub-par either. Expect the ordinary. I think the only thing I would come back for, is that lemon Torta!