MERCAT (closed)

Thursday night my family and I went out for my sister's birthday to the Spanish tapas restaurant Mercat. I had been wanting to go to Mercat since it opened and was excited for this culinary adventure. I love tapas (of all cuisines) because it gives you the opportunity to try a little bit of everything.

The restaurant is rustic and sexy, perfect for a date, or dinner with the fam! There is a bar up front, an open wine cellar on the second floor, an open kitchen in the back, and more tables in a downstairs room with another bar.

We ordered a lot of the dishes including Patates Bravas ($8), Croquetas De Gamba ($8), Mojama Amb Ametlles ($8), Boquerons ($9), Fideus Negres Amb Alioli ($17), Pop ($13), Bacalla ($15), Col de Brusseles ($9), and Remolatxa ($9).

The Patates Bravas, which are potatoes with garlic and spicy sauce found on many tapas menus around NYC, were up there with the best I've had and were super tasty!

The Croquetas De Gamba, filled with shrimp and spinach, as well as the Mojama Amb Ametelles (cured tuna loin with almonds), and the Boquerons (anchovies with Guinadilla peppers and Arbequina olives) were all great little nibbles to have with some nice wine.

One of my favorite dishes of the night was the Fideus Negres Amb Alioli, which is short noodles with Sepia (cuttlefish) in its ink. The Sepia ink made the noodles black and I thought the texture was slightly chewy, but in a unique and good way! I hadn't experienced a dish like it before.

I also enjoyed the Bacalla a lot. It was line caught cod with artichokes, bacon, and hazelnut mayonnaise. The bacon was delicious and the hazelnut mayonnaise was a great complement to the juicy and tender fish with crisp skin.

Brussel Sprouts have been making a comeback in the last few years in NYC, and the ones at Mercat do not disappoint. Here they are served with chestnuts and romesco and they are great.

The Pop (cold octopus salad with arugula, fingerling potatoes, and salsa verde) as well as the Remolatxa (market beets, roasted red onion, and La Peral -a blue cheese) were both enjoyable dishes too. I appreciated the thickly cut pieces of octopus from the Pop, and thought the addition of the La Peral to the beets was the perfect complement.

For dessert we had the churros with chocolate sauce, which were fine, but didn't blow my mind. We also had vanilla ice cream with apple compote, which was delicious. I'm usually not a fan of anything apple, but the compote went really well with the vanilla ice cream and was a great ending to a great meal.

So if you are a fan of Spanish tapas and wine, and like to try a little bit of everything, bring a date, or bring your fam, and bring them to Mercat.

45 Bond St.
New York, NY 10012