Philadelphia Restaurant Week

Restaurant week was good to me! I only had to step out about half a block to try the BEST, Italian BYOB restaurant in the city... Mercato

The warm interior with the open kitchen gave it a really nice romantic feel. The bunched together tables and low lights gave you and your significant other a chance to snuggle close and relax while you enjoyed your own chosen bottle of wine.

For Joe and I that night he chose his 1999 Chateau Souverain Cabernet Sauvignon (we drank it all :))

After having the knowledgeable waitress go through the menu items with us we started the night with some Prosciutto, wine-cured Salami, and the creamiest blue cheese I’ve ever had. We also ordered a flight of olive oils with a plum balsamic. The presentation of the oils and the meats were unique because they were brought out on aged cutting boards that had a dark grey finish. They kept refilling our bread two pieces at a time for the olive oil and meats. Personally I like bread baskets because I felt I was bothering them every two seconds for more pieces.

For my main course I had to have a pasta dish because with any true Italian restaurant that’s made on premises. I ordered the Lobster & Shrimp pyramid pasta. It was in a asparagus, parmesan brown butter sauce that was so rich and tasty. The pasta was pinched at the four corners that looked like little peaks or pyramids.

For dessert I had the mascarpone cheesecake with a walnut shortbread base. Maple syrup was drizzled on top. The cheesecake was perfect cool temperature but I could tell the shell was pre made and was a little hard to bite through.

Overall amazing feast. Worth going back for a more in depth dinner and more wine! With the average customer I feel skimping on bread is a no-no. Atmosphere is perfect for a romantic dinner for two. About a half hour after we got there it was packed to the door with groups of friends waiting to be seated.