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Jun 19, 2008 06:08 PM

Mercat a la Planxa gets 3 stars from Phil Vettel

Back when it first opened, I posted a glowing report on Mercat a la Planxa in the Blackstone Hotel. In today's Chicago Tribune, Phil Vettel reviewed the restaurant and gave it 3 stars and a great recommendation. If you haven't been there yet, maybe this will give you an inspiration to try the restaurant.

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  1. The place looks fantastic. Are the portions as large as reported, because it looks pricey. I've got to try it out...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pete Oldtown

      Everything was good. It's as pricey as you order. We had the tasting which I think was $55/person. The table next to us each had one small plate and desert.

      We loved it and will go back. Next time we'll order items off the menu rather than the tasting to get some dishes not included.

    2. We've been twice and like it very much. The first was at a prime weekend time, the place was packed, and service, though very friendly, was shaky (poor pacing and other confusions in bringing the many dishes of the tasting menu). But the food was sensational. Also, the wine pairing were superb. The second time, at an off-hour, the service was great, but the food was a notch below the earlier visit (e.g., the short rib flatbread was far less flavorful, the garlic shrimp more heavy-handed--in general,most dishes were blander and less exciting). But even the second time was quite good, and we'll definitely be going back.

      2 Replies
      1. re: gymp

        I, unfortunately had a similar experience. My first visit (which I posted) was excellent. Y second this past thurs was below average...service was slow and food was not seemed off/dirty, too. I had many of same items which were all not as good. A few examples: the hamachi was raw
        not seared, and was supposed to be a la planxa--it was also very fishy. The risotto with the crab cake had a cold, hard egg and was over salted. The pork belly had no crisp and was just soft meat underneath at all. The scallops were cut in half, soft without any crust--almost mushy. I was very disappointed to say the least.

        1. re: ljero

          I hope you called these matters to the attention of management, as I am certian they would redtify them and also want to know if food was not up to standard.

      2. Chef Jose Garces was on Iron Chef America last night against Bobby Flay. The secret ingrediant was melon and they had to have a frozen element in each dish as well. The replay is on this week (Aug 21) on the food network *and* I just read that Mercat is going to have a special dinner showcasing the dishes prepared by Chef Garces from his Iron Chef battle on Sunday Aug 24 evening.