...Mercato West (Calgary)

Overall - 9/10
Food - 9.5/10
Service - 9/10
Ambiance - 9/10
Mercato West on Urbanspoon
Ever since having our daughter we have made it a point to try and explore the culinary options in the Westsprings/Aspen area due to its close proximity. We have already tackled Vin Room West and were pleasantly surprised to find such high quality food out in the suburbs. We were hoping that our luck would hold out when we tried Mercato West.

We have seen the Mercato location change from a small and lonely farmers market to its current chic, trendy Italian restaurant and gourmet market. We were told by our server that the menu is different from their Mission location and sure enough we found it to be a unique dining experience that still channels the spirit of the original- fresh, high quality ingredients and careful preparation. If anything, we actually preferred the menu here at the west location.

We started our meal with a shared seafood linguini which was full of large succulent shrimp and scallops. The creamy tomato sauce was in perfect proportion to the al denté pasta. It was very well seasoned and a great way to start our family style dinner.

Seeing the amazing assortment of meats, we went a bit overboard and ordered both the veal and the lamb (in retrospect even one of these would have been enough for the two of us). The lamb sirloin was perfectly roasted and seasoned and served with a delicious creamy sweet potato pureé. Little roasted mushrooms were a great earthy element that complimented the not to gamey meat. The veal loin was also perfectly done and served with a balsamic reduction and over a generous bed of mascarpone laced polenta. If you have not tried veal, I would best describe it as the most tender beef you've ever had, but with a more mild flavour.
Lamb sirloin with sweet potato puree
Veal with mascarpone polenta
The portions of each protein were very generous but perfectly proportioned for a family style meal. Serving them both on a big cutting board added a nice rustic touch to this upscale dining experience. We have often heard that the meals at Mercato can be over salted but we wonder if people are accidentally mixing in the small pile of grey sea salt provided on the edge of the plate. We quite liked this little touch since the two of us sometimes don't see eye to eye on the level of saltiness.
To this day we are still thinking about the delicious meal we had that night and are happy to know that there is another great restaurant to add to our list of 'must revisit'. 


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