Tag Archives: mercato

My Valentine’s Day @ Mercato

It was a dark and stormy night.

Well, that’s not wholly true, but it’s close. And I always wanted to write that.

It’s also not true that it was Valentine’s Day. In fact, it was the Tuesday before Valentine’s Day, and while it wasn’t exactly stormy, it was dark and there was precipitation. Freezing precipitation.

Let me back up a bit. The reason we were going out on such a crappy night was because my lovely wife, who is still in veterinary school, was scheduled to work the night shift during the national love holiday. The reason we chose Mercato was more because of chance. While we’ve always wanted to try this tiny BYOB in Center City (#4 on “the list”), we figured we’d try to beat the weather by going local (within a block). Alas, our first choices, Le Castagne and Matyson, could not seat us.

Not ones to be beaten down by adversity, we grabbed a bottle of wine, walked gingerly to the curb, and caught a cab to Mercato. After ten slip-sliding, life-threatening minutes, we were there.

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Top Philadelphia Restaurants I Haven’t Tried Yet (updated)

1. Vetri

Haven’t been there yet because… it’s too expensive, it’s only open like two days a week, and it encourages a chef’s menu that takes away precious control over what goes in my mouth.

2. Striped Bass

Haven’t been there yet because… it’s too expensive and it just closed.

3. Osteria

Haven’t been there yet because… it’s too new, too popular, and too north on Broad Street.

4. Buddakan

Haven’t been there yet because… it’s supposedly good for groups, but I don’t have a group that can really afford it.

5. Gayle

Haven’t been there yet because… I don’t know if I’m as adventurous as most people describe its food.

6. Supper

Haven’t been there yet because… I just heard about it and I’m not sure I’m in any rush at this point.

Been There, Done That

1. Mercato (BYOB) – TRIED

Haven’t been there yet because… it doesn’t take reservations and I only remember I want to go on weekends when the waits are the longest.

2. Django (BYOB) – TRIED

Haven’t been there yet because… its chef switch has garnered mixed reviews and the place is smaller than a matchbox.

3. Le-Bec FinTRIED

Haven’t been there yet because… it’s too expensive and that rich French food does a number on my guts.

4. Marigold Kitchen (BYOB) – TRIED

Haven’t been there yet because… it’s in West Philly and I don’t want to get shot.

5. RaeTRIED

Haven’t been there yet because… I only heard about it last month in Esquire.

6. Bindi (BYOB) – TRIED

Haven’t been there yet because… I’m afraid it won’t live up to my expectations of a Lolita-like Indian place.

* For more Philly restaurants I have tried, click here.