Mercato | Italian Gourmet Cultura

last night i had the pleasure of introducing mr handsome and two of my very best friends m&d, to mercato, otherwise known as a restaurant gem to my heart & stomach.
located at 2224 4th street sw this open concept restaurant uses ingredients found in it's own upscale market to serve up italian food at it's finest.

with an emphasis on sharing, you need to go to this restaurant hungry, ready for wine and with pants that have room to give.  luckily, i've positioned myself among people that love the first two as much as i do, and who look the other way when it comes to my fashion, or lack there of.

for starters any place that starts off your meal with delicious fresh foccacia bread, good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and then brings you more without judgement, has a special place in my heart.  follow it up with a antipasti (first course), primi (second course), secondi (third course) & contorni (side dishes served alongside the main dish) and you've locked up an affair with my heart stomach.

and then the dessert....


you should also know that i've now got a 4 hour date with the treadmill, bike and elliptical, as a result.  
i sweat to eat, and eat to sweat.

caprese |  mozzarella di buffalo with tomatoes,  balsamic roasted squash and almond pesto

carpaccio |  crude of beef with fried artichoke hearts, wild rucola and pecorino romano

pappardelle |  wild boar bolognese with arugula, garbanzo beans and parmigiano romano

gnocchi |  hand rolled potato dumplings with braised rabbit, tuscan kale pesto and pinenuts

bistecca |  fiorentine style bone-in rib steak with arugula, lemon and olive oil

cavolfiore |  cauliflower al grattinata with tillage, patina tomatoes and foccacia breadcrumbs

asparagi |  grilled asparagus wrapped in prosciutto di parma with lemon and olio

dessert |  tiramisu & cheesecake


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