Address: 330 Bay Street. Toronto, Ontario M5H2S8
Phone: (416) 306 – 0467
Mercatto, a Toronto-based chain of Italian restaurants, has a location in the Financial District, serving the corporate and travellers. I happen to be shopping at The Bay on Queen Street and this was the closest eatery I could spot with my eyes.
A rustic decor was percieved, with the gray concrete floors and wood accented walls around. This style is quite common among other interior design and is quite dated or boring the more I see. The restaurant was so dark, with the lights glowing or looming right above you. Brightness was reflected from the lightly coloured pine wood furniture. I liked the open kitchen concept, openly gazing at the chefs bustling away with their food orders. It always amuzes me when they garnish the finished product or pick up their pans and flip the food inside or pick up their prongs to stir. This was an enjoyment, possibly because I enjoy cooking myself.
Side note, the waitress was quite rude, for seating us in front of the washroom hallway, ignoring our desire to order, taking forever to get to us, futile atempt to get our feedback about the food when served, never checking on us, never filled our cups and hastily clearing our plates when done as if they could not get us out there fast enough. Service was, to be honest, quite poor.
Seafood Linguine ($18.00) was topped with scallops, calamari, mussels, served in pomodoro sauce and peperoncini hot chili peppers. I have had better linguine before. The pasta noodles were overcooked, too soft, leaning towards the soggy direction. The dish did have a classic aromatic Marinara sauce, however, it was too salty. Half of the mussels were empty shelled. It was a poor selection of frozen seafood.
Zafferano Risotto ($25.00) is made of saffron, shrimp, mussels, and scallops. The flavourless saffron gave the risotto the red orange colour. Risotto was al dente, quite crunchy, creamy and not too cheesy. I quire enjoyed the texture. However, the same problem, it was way too salty. This was the main reason why lack of water was a problem for the whole evening. Again, it was a poor selection of frozen seafood. It was baby or miniture sized. Mussels were missing from the shells. Scallops and shrimps were sad or barely existent. Calamari was abundant.
Portion sizes for our pastas were extremely small. In fact, there was a disproportion of pasta to the seafood. To be honest, I am not sure if the chefs were a bit off that evening I had the dinner or not, but the quality of the food and the price did not match. Truthfully, I have had better, especially in the Downtown Toronto area.