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“Very entertaining!”
Review of Mercato

Mercato
Ranked #93 of 3,684 Restaurants in Calgary
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Delicatessen, Italian
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Reviewed 4 December 2013

My daughter and I love to sit at the food bar and watch the chefs at work! Interesting service, very good pasta and salads -- though we haven't been able to tackle the huge steaks yet! Maybe next time when we go with the menfolk! Lots of action. Probably our fave place in Calgary for a fun girl's night! Not easy to get a res at a "normal" time -- had to wait til 9 p.m. even after booking two days in advance!

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Thank Legallynnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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145 - 149 of 171 reviews

Reviewed 30 November 2013

We went here for dinner on a weeknight, and it was packed. With an added bar area, the place has room for even more people who talk louder as the spirits flow. Pretty soon, EVERYONE is getting louder just to be heard. There is music playing adding some indeterminate noise to the mix...it would take a team of forensic audio analysts to figure out what was playing.
That said, the level gets sorted out in your head, and you can enjoy the food. It's really good. We had crusty ribs, a tasty Caprese with buffalo mozza, green beans, and a simple pasta with tomato sauce. Everything was excellent, our server was personable and efficient, and the water glasses were never empty for more than a minute. It's medium expensive, but worth it.
The only downside was the cheapo" balsamic vinegar of Modena" at the table. When the ingredients list starts with red wine vinegar and includes caramel coloring, you're eating a watery, bitter, pale imitation of the real balsamico. The olive oil is family prepared, and is quite good. If you're into real Aceto Balsamico , bring your own.
We ate at the downtown location. Next time we may try the new West location. Either way, we'll be back.

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Thank peripatetic43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2013

went with a friend, steak sliced in strips and on wooder platter, was one of the best steaks ever. Is not cheap. grilled in front of you.

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Thank Dave C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2013

The food at Mercato and Mercato West is good. However, we have been turned away now 6 times at non-peak hours. Four times now we have been turned around because there were "no tables available" despite there being at least six or seven free tables, and they have not offered to seat us at the kitchen/bar. We have tried to go for lunch twice now, once in each location, and they close their kitchen at 2:00 in the afternoon. The last time they actually "allowed" us in, it was 5:00, and they said they had a reservation coming in at 7:30, and that they'd seat us on the condition that we would be ready to leave by 7:30. Seriously - 2.5 hours is not enough time to eat at your restaurant? Get over yourselves. Vin Room has gladly taken our money for their delicious food each of the times Mercato has turned us away. Honestly, this has now become a running joke, and I don't know why we keep trying to go back - eventually we will stop altogether.

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Thank Lisa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2013

Bicycle is not the way most people arrive at this restaurant. Hence the geriatric guy (me) that looked like Big Bird with his yellow bicycle jacket and helmet got some looks from some of the suited business diners when he came in the front door. The hostess, however, was not put off. I was greeted warmly and escorted to seating of my choice. I selected the bar that surrounds the open concept kitchen on two sides and provides a great view of the cooks preparing you meal.

I don't often eat the type of culinary treats the menu at Mercato provides. I therefore had lots of questions for the server. He answered them patiently and knowledgeably.

I chose something called Gigli. It is Tiger Prawns served with cannellini beans, semi-sundried tomatoes, lemon and bottarga. If you don't know what bottarga is that's OK. I didn't either. I had to ask.

Bottarga is cured and dried, shaved fish eggs. Man I didn't think I'd be liking those. The waiter, seeing me cringe at the thought of eating fish eggs, brought a small side plate of bottarga. It looked like flakes of dried salmon. I tried it and ended up sprinkling the entire plate of it on my meal. It was salty and fishy and freaking delicious.

The prawns and cannellinio were also excellent. A Pergoni draft beer along with the meal made it just about perfect. I think this was probably the best tasting presentation of prawns I have had.

The only down side was small portions. I could have eaten plates of this stuff. But, even sacrificing quantity for quality, I walked out of there a happy man.

So, if you want something a bit different but exquisitely good, get yourself down to Mercato. It's open until 2:00 PM for lunch. It opens again at 5:00 until 7:00 for dinner.

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Thank pedalcrazy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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