Restaurants & Bars

Manhattan

Went to Mercadito last night...

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Went to Mercadito last night...

a320 | Sep 24, 2004 02:52 PM

...and left fully satisfied. The space was great with warm amber lighting and lively Latin music. The man behind the bar (can’t call him a bartender because they’re still working on the liquor license) showed his skills at the bongos for brief stints through the evening. The service was friendly, gracious, and to our delight quick. Our waitress was very well versed with the menu and when we asked for her suggestions she recited her favorites with such ease and description I think we ordered almost everything she suggested. Either a great saleswoman or someone who was truly inspired by the chef’s inventive dishes, or both. All in all, great atmosphere.

And the food…I can’t say it was authentic because I don’t know what authentic is, but regardless it was delicious. We started with the queso covered with a variety of sautéed mushrooms and served with corn tortillas...went very well with their spicy and tangy salsa. Loved the tortillas…perfect size, maybe 4-inches in diameter. We continued with the ceviche sampler. I wish I remembered each of the 4, but my memory fades me. All were very tasty especially the tuna. The shrimp, which was in a coconut milk sauce, although flavorful was a bit too sweet for my taste. The fried oysters we had next were almost greaseless…light and tasty with a masa(?) coating. We finished off with their chicken tacos…four to a plate and served a bed those fantastic corn tortillas and topped with a fresh corn relish. Oh, we also had a side of sweet plantains…yum. Not too mushy not too sweet, but perfectly caramelized. We contemplated the dessert sampler, but passed. Will be sure to try it next time…

BTW, it's still BYO till they get their liquor license. There's a liquor store a few blocks down b/w 13th and 14th (I think). Mercadito, Ave. B b/w 11th and 12th

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