You are the bread to my butter and the breath to my Life
Oh pasta you delicious little ribcage sticker, I just love you, in all your buttery creamy cheesy glory. I might be speaking to soon, but I think you love me too. Just look at you, you are like a blubbering fool, you are oozing with love: hearts are fluttering right out of you. Some may say that you even wear your heart on your sleeve: you are so transparent. If there’s one thing Bertossi (owner of Il Mercato, Restorante a Mano and Bish) knows it’s pasta. The word mercato means market, and it’s very apropos since this menu is full of a varirty of Italian inspired dishes all of which are freshly prepared with traditional yet contemporary ingredients.
Bundled up in hats and scarves, it was rather nice out as we walked up from The Neptune on Barington to Il Mercato’s Spring Garden location (there is also one on the Bedford Highway). They do not make reservations, (and nor do they need to) so our attempt at creating a New Years Eve tradition was an ambitious gamble at best. As we approach the door we peek in the window and it seems really busy, but we are quickly escorted to a table. First things first we order an antioxidant martini and an Moretti (Imported Italian beer); I was slightly disappointed when my drink arrived and did not have floating blueberries in it and it tasted more like juice than the martini I remembered. I order the…
Tagliolini sautéed with gorgonzola, cream, roasted pistachios
and toasted focaccia crumbs
This pasta is packed with more flavor than these little noodles can handle. The rich cheese, with the smoky roasted nuts mmm… make this hearty pasta to die for. With all that butter and cheese this pasta is not for the dieting type, but its nothing you can’t walk off later. Get the fork ready because there’s no turning back.
Penne sautéed with roasted sweet peppers and onions, arugula,
chilies, tomato, topped with fresh ricotta
The penne was delicious I didn’t order it this time around, but I certainly would in the future. It was spicy and not too saucy. I especially liked the presentation of this one, the placement of the peppers and ricotta was impressive; I can appreciate the attention to detail. There’s something to be said about something taking the time to create both food and art. Let me tell you this dish looks just as good as it tastes, this vegetarian dish doesn’t skip a beat. super yum!!
We love Il Mercato enough to make a tradition out of coming to this little taste of Italy. I’ve also tried their Focaccia filled with roasted chicken, pancetta, avocado, arugula, dressed with chili aioli and their Thin crust pizza topped with tomato, basil pesto and buffalo mozzarella. Both super yum! Check out their menu click here
If you are into deserts they also have several options of Gelati a Mano & Sorbetti a Mano and many fine desserts to peruse: click here.
I’m watching out for The Bicycle Thief Bertossi’s new resto downtown, but until then I’d give this place a go.