Mercato is a unique Italian dining concept that opened its doors in Dubai’s ultra-trendy DIFC Gate Village in May 2016. The restaurant’s location is perfect to serve DIFC’s extensive workforce, offering them more options for wholesome and nutritious meals.
At night, it transforms into a more intimate dining space and customers can order their favorite Italian meals as a takeaway while they are also encouraged to shop its unique Italian market and retail space which sells a variety of cured meats, freshly made pasta, cheeses, baked bread and Italian pastries.
I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about Mercato for a long time now so when my calendar freed up one Saturday, I decided to go. Coincidentally, they have launched their Saturday brunch so it’s the perfect time to try it.
When you enter the shop, it looks like you’re in a different country, somewhere in Europe. The place is spotless and all the items are just in place. It looks like you entered Grandma’s kitchen and everything is in order. It smells of freshly baked bread and pastries and you will definitely long for the food on display.
We then ordered and they suggested the Mercato Breakfast – Two eggs cooked to order served with oven baked rosemary potatoes, bacon, portobello mushrooms, roasted cherry tomatoes and beef sausage. I love that the serving was good for sharing or if you’re famished, just right for one person.
And then of course knowing me and if it’s an Italian restaurant, I have to have my pizza and pasta so we ordered Mezzelune di Burrata or the Calamari filled with fresh burrata accompanied by Calamari and Tomato sauce and for the pizza, Salame e Pecorino – Spicy beef salami and pecorino cheese, mozzarella and tomato. I specifically like the pizza’s texture and you can truly taste the authenticity.
We finished the meal with a healthy stack of 3 pancakes and a selection of desserts especially suggested by their manager, Grazia. Out of the three, I liked the Millefeuille the most and I will definitely order it again. It was my first time to try it but it was the butteriest, flakiest pastry that I have ever tried so far.
The prices of the food here are just right and not expensive at all considering that the location is in the posh Dubai International Financial Centre. I have to commend the staff too because they were all attentive and made sure every client’s request was given and the food was served on time.
In summary, Mercato, which offers a personalized shopping and dining experience like no other, is a welcome addition to arguably the beating heart of Dubai’s fine dining restaurant scene. If you ever find yourself having a yearning desire for Grandma’s cooking, Mercato is the perfect place to go to. The restaurant’s slogan is ‘For the love of food’ and I definitely agree, it seems like they got everything in check in here. It is easily one of the best places to relax and eat delectable and appetizing food that will keep you coming back for more.
Mercato is located at Gate Village Building No.1 DIFC Dubai and can be found across social media platforms @mercatoae