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Italian 11 Jan 2012
The Urban Craze
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I was able to meet up with a friend for a nice weekend ending dinner from all the typical craziness throughout the week. My friend has asked me to pick a place for some good pasta with a nice atmosphere. Now Mercatto has three locations and I decided to hit up the one that’s located in the Discovery District which is right around Queens Park. It has a nice Italian inspired decor that’s very modern and at the same time, cozy.

101 College St
Toronto, ON M5G 1L7
(416) 595-5625

The thing I like about this Mercatto’s location is the awesome patio and the little more relaxed attitude in comparison to the other locations. I felt it was a good match for a nice summer evening to simply enjoy good food and good company.We came a little later into the dinner crowd and yes though it was a Sunday, it still had a decent amount of people there. I like smaller crowds in nature. So I ended ordering the fennel sausage pasta named Orecchiette and my friend got the Chitarra. The waitress was extremely helpful and in fact helped us both in picking what some of their most popular dishes were. Typical table starter bread was served with olive oil as we were waiting for our mains to come. Now our mains didn’t take too long to come at about 15 mins or so as my friend and I were deep in conversation so the timing was perfect.

The Orecchiette was cooked in a very nice and light oil based sauce. The rapini was fresh and was quite apparent in the dish. It was the type of pasta you might want to consider if you wanna be healthier or just had a weekend long of say deep fried goodies. The fennel sausages were good and spiced well but was a little on the low side for me. My friends chitarra pasta was simply delicious. It was a cream based pasta that was cooked with some guanciale, black pepper, egg and pecorino. It was savvy and definitely heavier than mine. The carbonara pasta was cooked well, and I think a little bit better than mine. If you’re looking for a meatier pasta dish, neither of ours would really provide you that. But purely on taste I would consider my friend’s dish the winner of the night.

I also ordered a latte after our mains as our conservation lasted well past the 2 hour mark of our dinner arrangement. And tho I felt obligatory to order something, the latte was not bad at all. Much better than a lot of restaurants. So mercatto for a small snack and cafe like beverages can definitely be an option. Yes a little expensive but I did enjoy the patio on the college location personally.Overall, I have to say I enjoyed mercatto. The food was above average and the patio is what really got me. Yes you may ask it’s on college tho Brian? But see, mercatto’s patio is tucked away behind the trees just enough from all the traffic and prying eyes that it’s even a little… exclusive dare I say. It was a nice place to catch up with my friend. I know he enjoyed the food and to be honest, if I had his dish… I would have enjoyed a little bit more. =P

The Damage: $40ish after tax

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About the author


best possible description of Brian: Works wayy too hard, but enjoys the simple things in life with a passion to give back to the community. He's interested in how things are started up and believes there are a ton of hidden gems within and just outside the city. Last but not least, continually grateful for all that has happened... the good and the bad. Cause honestly, we're more than blessed.

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