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Mercato, Calgary. Meh.

g
greenboy Nov 13, 2009 01:58 PM

Surprisingly not impressed with this place after wanting to try it for a long time. If your idea of great atmosphere is a room full of pretentious people talking over eachother then this might be the place for you. Took an hour for the food to arrive and even then the veg plate was something different than I'd actually ordered. Food tasted fine and no complaints about the portion size or presentation, but overall it just didn't blow me away like I'd hoped. I opted for the lamb, which was a little overdone for my liking, and I hate places that charge you 40 bucks for a lonely plate of meat. I did order one of the over-priced veg accompiments, but even then it made for a boring and expensive plate that was just missing something. Desert was a decent Tiramisu (always amazes me how much Tiramisu varies from place to place). An expensive evening and a little disapointing overall. Given that this place is busy pretty much every night with people who clearly have plenty of money to blow, I'm sure they won't lose any sleep over me not rushing back there.

  1. TSAW Nov 14, 2009 06:54 PM

    I purchased a nice balsamic in the grocery for $20. I really enjoyed and thought it was top quality stuff, which it was.. but then I happened to be in Italian grocery (Edmonton Trail and 20th) and the exact same balsamic was $10. Never have I purchased any grocery items at Mercato since; clearly it is too high priced.

    2 Replies
    1. re: TSAW
      s
      Satiated Nov 14, 2009 07:26 PM

      And that same vinegar would be $15 at Lina's, and $7 at Scarpones.

      1. re: Satiated
        l
        Leibowitz Nov 15, 2009 03:17 AM

        And people keep paying for it. This place does amazingly well, despite itself.

    2. sweeterpea Nov 14, 2009 06:53 PM

      My husband loves the Caprese salad and goes there a fair amount as he's in the area frequently. He did say the last time he had it it wasn't as good. He's brought home leftover quail dinner for me (very dry) and their "house specialty pasta" which I found extremely oily. Not sure if I would want to eat there, but he keeps going back for the Caprese.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sweeterpea
        sarah galvin Nov 15, 2009 02:07 AM

        They also have a very nice fish soup.

      2. l
        Lainey1978 Nov 14, 2009 02:01 PM

        I agree. I went there for lunch once when I worked near there, and I was very disappointed.

        1. s
          Shazam Nov 14, 2009 08:58 AM

          I like it enough for lunch. Had a pasta that was very good there.

          I don't go there for dinner though. Way too busy.

          Grocery store part is way overpriced, although they have great olive oil.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Shazam
            s
            S_B_Russell Nov 14, 2009 03:17 PM

            They also have great olive oil at Costco, but I wouldn't go there for lunch... ;)

          2. l
            Leibowitz Nov 14, 2009 01:17 AM

            Agreed. Overpriced, pretentious, annoying. Were they to drop the prices to the level their dishes are actually worth, then I might reexamine it. That said, being crowded with jackasses every night, while other, better, establishments try to fight their way out of the red, why would they bother? I've not found their grocery very special either, especially when compared with Lina's (up on Centre Street).

            1. Jetgirly Nov 13, 2009 04:16 PM

              As a vegetarian, it is a pretty good upscale choice for me. I've been taken there a couple times and while I don't like the atmosphere at all, and that big middle-aged female server is a rude cow, there are some darn good choices for vegetarians. A couple of vegetable sides to share and a pasta dish per person (you can order them in small sizes too!) makes for a great meatless dinner.

              1. s
                S_B_Russell Nov 13, 2009 02:45 PM

                Yup. I don't get what's the big deal about Mercato. Way, way, way overrated.

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