Do you watch Top Chef Canada on The Food Network? Are you rooting for Chef Rob Rossi? Well, I know I am! :) Chef Rob is the executive chef of Mercatto Restaurants in Downtown Toronto. There are several locations but I visited the Eaton Centre location for dinner. If you’re thinking that Chef Rob being a contestant on Top Chef Canada is the reason why I came here for dinner, well, you’re partly correct. The other half is because The Bake for Japan Appreciation Event was held here and having volunteered at this bake sale, I decided to attend and meet my fellow volunteers and bakers! I’d also like to give a quick thanks to the organizers, Heena and Niya, for doing an amazing job at coordinating the event for such an important cause!
Trattoria Mercatto is an Italian restaurant serving up great food made with local and fresh seasonal ingredients. Located right beside Zara, there are two levels to this casual, new hot spot. I loved the high ceiling and tall windows that contributed to an airy and open concept. Our group dined on the upper floor which was more quiet and comfortable. Our server was excellent and he made sure to check up on us often. Since I had a late lunch that day, I only ordered an appetizer and a dessert. I had the Barbabietole Arrosti ($10); a beets salad with burrata cheese, arugula, almonds, and aged balsamic. I simply adored this dish – everything from the combination of flavours, to the textures, to the final presentation. The beets were cooked to the right softness and the cheese was so incredibly fresh. I especially liked the nuttiness and added texture that the almonds gave. The arugula leaves were crisp and the balsamic vinegar provided a distinctive sweetness and acidity that made this salad work. This appetizer was very light and refreshing, with no one ingredient overpowering the flavours of the rest.
For dessert, I ordered Ciambelle ($6) – cream filled cinnamon doughnuts. Okay, this might not be the healthiest choice out there, but the beet salad was nutritious so everything sort of balances out ;) Warm and made-to-order doughtnuts are the best as they are not left hanging around for hours prior. Although I’m not much of a cream person, I did think that these doughnuts could have used more cream (don’t be deceived by the photo above). It’s kind of funny actually because I was speaking to my friend, Joyce, after this meal and she was also there that night and ordered Ciambelle! She told me that their order had tons of cream and it literally squirted out at the people :D Strange since mine were far from being too much. Anyway, they were delicious so I was happy with my dinner at Trattoria Mercatto. Next time I visit, I’d definitely order a pizza because others at the table did and they all looked so scrumptious! I can’t wait for my next visit already! :)
220 Yonge Street
PO Box 334 M5B 3H7