restaurants · Trips

China’s in China – Mercato on the Bund

Now they’ve really done it. Shanghai not only has delicious Chinese food, they have some of the best Italian food I’ve ever had. Bruce and I stumbled upon this place after trying to go to four other restaurants that were booked for the night. Part of the problem was that the street we were walking down was the world famous Shanghai Bund (stock image below, but you get the point – it’s fancy).

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We ended up at Mercato, a Jean-Georges bustling, refined-rustic Italian restaurant, seated at the low chefs counter around their large open kitchen. (Photo from website).

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I must sound like a broken record, but everything we ate was absolutely DIVINE. We didn’t want it to end. We even fantasized about how nice it would be to curl up and take a nap inside our pizza – a pillow of fresh ricotta and blanket of tender prosciutto. It was that good.

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We both ordered the nutmeg old fashioned (smokey, wonderful), and the waitress brought three types of bread to dip into olive oil and thai red chili infused vinegar.

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We started with the apple and pear, shaved Pecorino, arugula and spiced walnut salad with torn basil. First of all, who has ever seen a salad plated like a pizza? Brilliant. The flavors of this salad were so fresh, with incredible texture. I want to recreate this.

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Their chargrilled octopus was coated in a pureed caper dressing over dill red skinned potatoes and torn Castelvetrano olives and fennel. I loved this, so briny and meaty.

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Last we ordered the prosciutto and arugula pizza with four cheeses. The crust was tender and light but puffed up with air pockets from the high heat wood oven. The cheese was so flavorful and fresh, and on top was the most moist and delicate prosciutto I’ve ever had. And so the good eating continues…

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