Like its namesake, mercato (marketplace), this trattoria is always abuzz with animated conversation and laughter. Even before you've gotten your glass ... More
Il Mercato Ristorante
Like its namesake, mercato (marketplace), this trattoria is always abuzz with animated conversation and laughter. Even before you've gotten your glass of Merlot, the servers give you a plate of glistening olive oil and a basket of bread. Your wine glass is topped off before you know it is empty. A large, beautifully kept display at the front of the restaurant offers a selection of antipasti. Northern Italian fare includes grilled homemade sausage with roasted sweet peppers and polenta and everything is served hot and fresh.
I found the tables very close together. It was quite busy and the service was ok. I think we ordered the wrong dishes because both of our meals were not that great and very expensive for what we got. I've had much more romantic Italian dinners previous to Il Mercato and don't understand why there's so much hype. Maybe Halifax needs more Italian for comparison.
The food was really good although it is not cheap for pasta. The service was terrible and we waited 45 minutes to get seated. The place is too crowded too I don't recommend this restaurant. If you want good pasta and Italian food, go at Vinnie's Pasta Bar on inglis instead.
After hearing rave reviews from many people, we decided to try Il Mercato. Arrived on a Saturday night at around 7:30, the place was only about half full. My guest and I were seated and given menus. We waited patiently for our server, and watched as 2 other tables were seated, and the server actually took drink orders from those tables first. We waited just under 10 mins, and our waiter finally stopped by our table to ask if we wanted any drinks while we looked at the menu. We informed him that we had been waiting a while, and were ready to order now. Our food arrived very quickly, which led us to believe the waiter had put a rush on our order. My friend had the seafood spaghettini. It was bland at best, and had very little seafood (3 shrimp, 4 mussels, 3 scallops) with LOTS of spaghetti. I had the ravioli, which was excellent... But the portion was way too small. Only 5 ravioli in the whole dish! Seemed like an appetizer when compared to the other main course. Our waiter only came by after we were done to ask if we wanted any coffee/dessert. Our waters were not refilled once, which is a big pet peeve of mine. All in all, I was very disappointed with the serving size and the service, and would not recommend Il Mercato based on this.
The ambiance was definitely inviting. We went in October last year for my 40th birthday. It was very busy that night (a Saturday) despite lousy wet windy weather.
There were 5 of us. We waited 20 minutes for our table..not undaunted by this as it was very busy.
We had our entree sides substituted without being told first by the kitchen..they ran out of certain vegetables. This was negligent on their part as there were allergy concerns. I will say my salmon was worth the wait however 2 of my friends ordered the ravioli. It arrived on huge plates with only 5 ravioli on it!!!My friends looked around at the normal to generous sized helpings other patrons were receiving and asked the equivalent of "where's the beef??"The waitress commented that was a normal serving size so we suggested they mention the size of the entree to future patrons. They ended up trying to satiate themselves on the bread and vegetables I didn't eat.
I could go on about the hair in the wine glass and the repeated mixups in drink orders but why bother...Our waitresses were switched halfway through our meal so this may have caused confusion with orders. However, she was switched I believe due to the busy evening and not because we were in anyway rude. None of us were rowdy as 3 of us do not drink and we are all fit, normal sized people who do not overeat so the serving size was really not up to par. None of our group had unreal expectations of the meal..it just fell short.
The food and service was great, definitely recommend to anyone who has not been there. This is your chance to try fine cuisine! The best times are visiting for lunch and dinner. This is a great place for dining with your friends or just a nice beautiful romantic evening with someone special. The overall experience was worth the trip!
I live in Halifax and I certainly never thought we could own such an up-class place! The service was wonderful, as our waitress was able to serve multiple tables as usual, but also make sure our candle never ran out on our table! :D
The food was delicious, and as Im told, they are famous for they're ravioli. But what beat me was the ambiance. It had that look and feel of an authentic italian ristorante, and had many interesting italians phrases in an impressive font on the wall and ceiling. It may have been a little on the expensive side, but still worth the money. I will definately go again!
I'm so glad il Mercato moved out of their previous location (about two years ago) because now they can feed more people at a time. Some amazing dishes and beautiful decor. I really recommend the cabbage salad (which a friend made me try against my objections). Great place for a date