Address: The Toronto Eaton Centre, 220 Yonge Street, PO Box 334, Toronto ON
When I attended: August 24, 2014
I was invited to a special event called “Antipasti with us” with a selective group of Toronto bloggers at Trattoria Mercatto’s (@mercattoTO) to enjoy a feast of antipasti carefully prepared by the Chef.
Trattoria Mercatto had recently taken centre stage for the owners and brothers Jack and Domenic Scarangella with the restaurant located inside the Toronto Eaton Centre (@toeatoncentre), the shopping hub of Toronto. Given the high traffic of the prime location, the restaurant’s menu was designed to satisfy the mass market. The menu at Trattoria Mercatto differs from the other Mercatto locations, with both focusing on seasonal ingredients and delicious Italian cuisine. The owners’ rise to their restaurant success relates to their delectable food, outstanding wine program and prime locations.
The restaurant is right by the long running Mr. Greenjeans with a gorgeous Mercatto’s sign out front which makes the restaurant hard to miss. When I stepped into the restaurant, I was impressed with the high ceilings, spacious seating and huge bar. The restaurant had a warm and welcoming atmosphere, while showcasing casual elegance.
As it was a warm summer afternoon, the patio was the hot spot for customers which comfortably seats 100 people. As Mercatto’s patio closes early October, I would recommend making a trip out to the patio before our brutal winter comes around.
Below is what I shared with my fellow bloggers which came in three antipasti rounds. I enjoyed the offerings at the event and the best part is that all items are available on the menu.
Round 1 dishes:
Barbabietole arrosto’s which was a roasted beet dish with fresh burrata, arugula, almonds with aged balsamic. This was a light dish with the soft cheese not overpowering the delicate natural sweetness of the beets.
Carpaccio di manzo which is a beef tenderloin crudo, brandy crema, pickled onions, grana padano and topped with arugula. The beef shined in this dish and a great starter.
With my dishes, I enjoyed a special drink called Nonna’s Little Secret that had vodka, hisbiscus, rosehip, house-made peach tea and lime juice. It was refreshing and the tea flavour was the strongest element.
Calamari fritti, a dish of fried calamari with fennel and garlic crema. The dish was nicely seasoned with a light crispy batter.
Frutti di mare with marinated shrimp, bay scallops, calamari, red onion with a side of crostini. I am a lover of seafood and this dish was full of it.
The lightness and the carbonation in my talian prosecco Serenissima was a great accompaniment to the dishes.
Short rib crostini sticky beed short ribs, fior di latte, grilled sourdough and basil. The meat had deep flavours from the slow cooking process and was a filling dish.
Polpette veal and pork meatballs, roasted eggplant and tomato caponata and grana padano. Who doesn’t love meatballs? The meatballs were ultra moist.
Pan seared scallops with pistachio, Brussels sprouts and orange puree. Mercatto’s saved the best for last with the memorable dish of perfectly seared scallops, my favourite of the afternoon.
The Spanish lagar Estrella Damm was the right accompaniment to accentuate the flavours of the hearty dishes.
*The meal and drinks were complimentary but the opinions in the post are my own.
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