Four tables and eight seats. There are other two additional seats on the counter, overlooking the kitchen, but it may be not enough for all the dishes that you’ll want to taste. We are at Al Mercato, a restaurant with a double soul in which two spaces (the restaurant itself and a burger bar) present a drastically different proposal while sharing the same kitchen. Operational since 2010, Al Mercato proposes traditional dishes and experimental recipes, always looking for the seasonality of the ingredients, researching in each element the highest quality of the raw material. “Strong dishes” because of both generous portions and quality: three first courses, three second courses and an excellent choice of desserts.
The customers establish the rhythm of the dinner, according to their choices and thanks to an exceptional maître: Giacomo Gironi. Born in Rome, Giacomo has married the cause of “Al Mercato” from the first day and transmits to his customers all of his passion by devoting the right time and care to each table. A true host that makes his guests feel at home, advising them with confidence and professionalism, a deep connoisseur of recipes, procedures, history of cooking, of the territory and much more.
Our dinner starts with mussels, vegetables brunoise, squid ragout, and chorizo. Fabulous. It continues with a selection of different cured meats produced by Sergio Motta and a taste of homemade torchon de foie gras. Following lamb ribs, served with a slightly smoked caponata and a tzatziki mousse. Even though this one is a more ordinary dish, it’s still refreshing and not-obvious in terms of textures of the cold and hot ingredients and contrasting flavors. Actually, the whole menu is not all-obvious.
You can continue with game meat, fish and various vegetarian options. The scallops with veal tongue are certainly a daring combination. There is no limit to the pairings, the watertight compartments do not exist, you can mix east and west, the past of French high-end gastronomy with China’s street food. Cuts, stuffings and cooking techniques are essential in the success of a dish; the remaining part is given by the visionary and the experimental approach of the chef, whose soul is present in every single dish.
A dinner at Al Mercato is a truly nice adventure. An evening that will remain impressed in your memory not only for the goodness of the food but, above all else, for the tenacity and consistency of a vision transferred to the plate by the chef and translated into experience by his maître.