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Review of Mercato in Red Hook

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After a rave review appeared of this place in HUDSON VALLEY magazine, we decided to check it out. We thought it quite good although we wouldn't rave about it in the same way.

It's on Market Street east of town. No liquor license yet so it's BYO and there was a nice feeling seeing locals walking to it carrying their bottles. The bar space is not very big so it will certainly be a more cramped setting when they do get their license.

We sat in the pasta room as the magazine review had said that was quieter.

Prices were quite reasonable. Service was a bit slow (they appeared to have only one wait-person the night we were there). The shrimp and arugula over pasta dish that the review had singled out wasn't on the menu that night.

My friends had salad appetizers and they had very nice seasoning. I had a quail-wrapped-in-pancetta appetizer and it was delicious. I would have loved this to be the main course. They were out of the main course I wanted which was a rabbit ragu.

My friends each had a kind of fish. The salmon came out cold and we sent it back and then it was quite good. I had a shellfish pasta which was quite good with a nice spice kick. My friends did think that the seasonings on their dishes could have been bolder -- a bit more adventurous -- and that the chef seem to be holding back on stronger flavors.

A molten cake dessert was great. A cherry tart had local, fresh cherries but otherwise wasn't that exciting.

The total was about 130 but that's without liquor, remember.

Overall, a good experience and we will go back. But we live in Rhinecliff and think Gigi there is more interesting and will be more our destination.

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