15 Toronto St.
For several years, Mercatto has been attracting the “see” and “be seen” crowd of young, downtown urban professionals. There is plenty of eye candy to scope out here, and the food ain’t half bad either. If not nearly as well known, Mercatto is comparable to Terroni’s in terms of a gourmet lunch serving up a variety of fancy paninis and pizzas. The dining room is larger and more lit than Terroni’s and there is a small patio out front. The kitchen is visible behind a food display counter. I believe they do catering as well but I am not 100% sure.
I have frequented this restaurant several times for lunch, and on my most recent visit, I stuck to the typical yet delicious grilled vegetable sandwich. Served on a large, ciabatta roll, this sandwich is equipped with grilled zuchinni, red pepper, spanish onions and some creamy goat cheese. A salad accompanies the dish with a tart and tasty vinagrette. My “lunch buddy” ordered the most expensive item on the menu: a grilled calamari salad ($13.95). I had a taste of this dish and it was fantastic. Four large pieces of calamari placed in a clock like formation around the salad, with smaller pieces in the centre. Grilled and seasoned to perfection.
Though, I do not work in this area anymore, I still try to come down to this lunching spot to look just as much as to eat.