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Mercato ?

h
hikinghabitat Jan 13, 2009 02:46 PM

I have heard good things about the food at Mercato but have never been there. What is service like? General ambiance? I am looking for a byob for either a proposal site or pre-proposal site. My girlfriend and I are both foodies and I am new to the Philly area I have tried Couchon and was impressed with the food but less than impressed with the close quarters. Any ideas?

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  1. b
    Buckethead RE: hikinghabitat Jan 13, 2009 03:52 PM

    Mercato is also a little cramped, like Cochon, and noisy, like Cochon, but not quite as bad as Cochon on either score. The food is very good in my experience but I haven't been there in quite a while. Probably not what you're looking for for this occasion.

    Does it have to be a BYO?

    1. s
      sylviag RE: hikinghabitat Jan 13, 2009 04:52 PM

      We thought the food at Mercato was very good but the place is crowded and noisy. I wouldn't choose it for a proposal or pre-proposal site.
      Suggestion: Branzino (17th st, just north of Spruce) is very lovely, delicious food.
      We also like August (13th and Wharton) very much - small, pretty, delicious food.

      Quite a few of the other byob's we like have become so very noisy that we find ourselves staying away. No fun getting a headache and shouting.

      1. t
        tom246 RE: hikinghabitat Jan 13, 2009 05:06 PM

        My suggestion would be Chloe on Arch between 2nd and 3rd. Low candle lit room, great food, makes you want to propose :))

        1 Reply
        1. re: tom246
          s
          sanfrantransplant RE: tom246 Jan 13, 2009 06:12 PM

          talk about close quarters... at Chloe you could reach over and pluck something off of the plate of the person sitting at the table next to you without even moving your chair. I would not recommend them as a proposal restaurant. By the way, last time I was there I had a big piece of tin foil and a long hair in my food. Upon telling the server, i did not even get an "I'm sorry". I was'nt expecting anything like a free dessert, but an apology would've been nice.

        2. g
          Gorp512 RE: hikinghabitat Jan 13, 2009 06:10 PM

          A little cramped is an understatement. The food is very good. Amada has great atmosphere, but can be crowded. Upstairs at Varalli and Waterworks are supposed to be super romantic, but I haven't heard much about the food being stellar. Chloe is supposed to be very good, and I would recommend the Rose Tattoo Cafe. Good luck.

          1. modernist RE: hikinghabitat Jan 14, 2009 12:17 PM

            i would again stress "NOISY!"
            but i like their cioppino, if you get the capers and olives on the side, otherwise its too salty.
            their pastas are overpriced.

            1. Carole RE: hikinghabitat Jan 14, 2009 02:24 PM

              Maybe Matyson? Not as such tight quarters but it isn't really very romantic either ....

              Or you could give Marigold a call and see if they'd give you a table in one of the smaller rooms. Explain why you need it. They're in University city so maybe that's too far to go.

              Also, second the Branzino recommendation.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Carole
                rabidog RE: Carole Jan 14, 2009 02:40 PM

                am i having deja vu/going crazy? i don't think it was the same post as this, cause i don't see my reply here, but i definitely just suggested matyson as a proposal spot recently too. so, i'll second this!! :)

              2. m
                michyphilly RE: hikinghabitat Jan 14, 2009 05:38 PM

                How about the White Dog cafe? There are small rooms there and I always thought it was cozy and romantic.

                1. modernist RE: hikinghabitat Jan 15, 2009 05:40 AM

                  i went to matyson last night for the 4th time. the food is great, ambience kind of lacking, but service is good and knowledgable.

                  mercato, cochon, and little fish too small.
                  i like the ambience at ansill which is byob on sundays if you do pif. probably my other favorite restaurantin philly next to matyson.

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