Calgary Eats: Mercato’s New West Side Location

Mercato west calgary

[twitter]Mercato West
5000 – 873 85th St SW
(403) 685-0460

A swanky new joint has opened up on Calgary’s west side, a high end restaurant that high end home owners can walk home from.

The restaurant has taken over a building in a strip mall that has sat mostly unused for 2 years since it was a failed farmer’s market. It is a huge building that has been renovated in a creative way that finally brings upmarket style and food to this well-to-do suburb.

The open concept kitchen is the star of the entire room, so make sure you reserve a front row seat. While there are some tables on the side, the showpiece is a sawtooth bar that lets groups of 4 face each other while dining, instead of sitting side by side. It’s a great idea – the kitchen offers some excitement to watch, while the seating arrangement still lets you chat with your friends.

Our waiter, when talking about the ingredients, almost brags at how much things cost and justifies the $80 as-tall-as-your-fist steak we see searing on the grill as something that can feed two people and takes nearly an hour to cook.

Then there’s the tray of meat. Arosto Misto is a $200 carving selection of steak, lamb, veal, chicken, and sausage that definitely needs 2 hands to be carried out.

Caprese Mercato west calgaryYes, Mercato is expensive. The tomatoes for their $19 caprese salad are flown in from Sicily. The yellowfin tuna steak is $43. Wines all start at $50. But it’s delicious.

The market is almost a walk through the executive chef’s pantry. Want to take some of Mama Cathy‘s sausages home? They’re in the deli. Want your own Sicilian tomatoes and drippingly delicate mozarella di buffalo? Just look behind you. If the wine catches your fancy, like the Magiliano Morellino Heba Toscana did for us, then the waiter will scribble you a note to take to Merlo (Mercato’s wine store) just down the hill.

Save your pennnies, and enjoy a great treat.

Dinner for 4: $360, including tip
2 cappuccino, 1 tiramisu
caprese, mussels
2 bottles of wine
tonno, cresti di gallo, gnocchi

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