Mercat, NYC


Mercat

Chef: Jalinson Rodriguez
Cuisine: Spanish, Tapas
Neighborhood: NoHo
Price: $50-70 per person including tax, tip
Phone: (212) 529-8600
Address: 45 Bond Street, NYC 10012
Hours: Mon-Sun 6pm – 12am

Mercat, which means “market” in Catalan, is a bustling Spanish restaurant and tapas lounge that opened in 2007 by Barcelona native Jaime Reixach.  The restaurant seats 90 people over a spacious layout with a bar, private dining area, and open kitchen.  I have always been a Spanish tapas lover since I traveled to Madrid and Barcelona in 2007, and from that I have a somewhat lofty goal of trying every (good) tapas restaurant in NYC.  This list includes spots serving up traditional tapas like Sala 19 and Flor de Sol, to the fusion-y inventive “modern” tapas you would find at Alta and Casa Mono.

Mercat skews towards the latter, serving up some authentic Catalonian dishes but with a scattering of those Spanish-“inspired” dishes.  However, the pork belly watermelon salad I tried there might deviate a bit further (anyone know the origins?).  I came here for dinner a few months ago with a large group of friends and enjoyed a fantastic meal.  We probably sampled a good third of the menu and found everything exquisite and beautifully presented.  Unfortunately, I was less dutiful in taking notes than I usually am and so I have spent a good couple hours trying to identify the dishes in my photos.  The menu has altered a bit since then as well so it might not be exactly what we had or what is available… but you get the point.  It’s good food.  And pretty.

As I look back on these photos 5 months later, my mouth starts to water as I distinctly remember the flavors of my favorite dishes that night.  Must try’s: Bombes (fried chicken, beef, pork meatballs topped with aioli), Coliflor (fried cauliflower with a hazelnut aioli), Tuna tartare with pork rinds with avocado, Arros D’anec (bomba rice with duck and orange zest), Fig and Fennel salad, Grilled Cod, and some churros with chocolate dipping sauce for dessert!  I didn’t get to try the Fideua Negra, short noodles with sepia in its ink and topped with aioli, but apparently this Catalan comfort dish is a must try by other reviewers.

The food was fantastic, the ambiance was lively (read loud), and the service was satisfactory.  The only con was the aforementioned noise level; to speak to anyone on the other end of the table required shouting, which only added to the incredible din.  However, I would definitely return but might just try to go on an off night where it might be a little quieter to enjoy a calmer meal.

PICA PICA

Bombes: Chicken, Beef and Pork Meatballs topped with Aioli
Bombastic simply fantastic! Yes, now I’m singing that song to myself

Coliflor: Fried Cauliflower with Hazelnut Aioli, Pumpkin Seeds and Fried Leeks
This place really loves its aioli (and I do too)I made my own version at home here.

Tonyina Amb Escabetx: Tuna Tartar with Pork Rinds served on a bed of Avocado
Tuna and avocado is tried and true… and then you throw in some pork rinds and the wow factor shoots off the scale

PLATS / ENTREES

Gambas: Maya Shrimp topped with Garlic and Pimenton Oil
Yao Ming says to “Eat the head!”  That’s how you do it right

Botiffara: Housemade Sausage with Butter Beans, Bacon and Pumpkin
Sausage fillings were always a questionable mystery to me… but I found this combination amazing

Cansalada: Berkshire Pork Belly with Watermelon, Caramelized Onion and Orange Marmalade
It didn’t quite live up to expectations.  I think I prefer Fatty Crab’s version, or just Co-op’s Watermelon with Jalapeño Tzatziki salad

Grilled Cod with Asparagus, Baby Carrots and Pea puree
Perfectly charred, flaky white fish on a bed of a refreshing veggie puree

Vedella: Grilled Hanger Steak, Cipollini Onions, Fingerling Potatoes, Watercress and La Peral Sauce

Arros D’anec: Bomba Rice with Sliced Duck and Orange Zest
To die for

ARROSSOS / RICE

Amanida de Merdat: Arugula and Fennel salad with dried Figs, Cheese, Apple topped with Walnut and Orange Vinaigrette
Amazing salad flavor combination of sweet and salty and creamy and citrus-y

Esberginia Estofada: Eggplant filled with Escalivada, Sobrassada and Mahon Cheese
Look at that gooey melted cheese… you just can’t go wrong when you stuff eggplants

Mystery Item: Memory blanking… think was a poached egg wrapped in prosciutto with Parmesan shavings on a bed of asparagus?  Kind of like this Thomas Keller dish: Roasted Asparagus with Poached Egg and Prosciutto

POSTERS / DESSERTS

Xurros Amb Xocolata: Homemade Churros served with chocolate
Yum so good.  One of my favorites next to the churros at Five Points

Soufle de Xocolata: Chocolate Souffle with toasted Almond Ice Cream
Toasted almond ice cream is key

Creme Brûlée
Think this was okay, have had better

 Mystery Dessert: probably a cheesecake?
I love drizzle plating!  I’m so easy to please
About these ads
Comments
One Response to “Mercat, NYC”
  1. I cannot believe that I just live a few blocks away. I must go and have a visit next week.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 300 other followers

%d bloggers like this: