|Mercado on Kent|
Menu: View the Menu
The Basque culinary tradition, long touted by Spaniards and other Europeans as one of the best, has finally made it to the American contingent with the opening of Mercado on Kent at the end of 2011 in Williamsburg. Chef Mikel Trevino, arriving directly from Bilbao, turns out pintxos – Basque tapas –, traditional Spanish mains along with cheese and meat boards.
This sort of food is designed to share; go with a group and order several small dishes to mix and match. The menu is divided into non-traditional sections which facilitate this style of ordering: “Small” dishes, priced between 8 and 18 dollars, walk the line between traditional Basque offerings like Boquerones ($9) – house-cured anchovies --, and Chipirones ($18) – squid a la plancha--, and other Iberian-inspired delicacies, like house-cured duck prosciutto ($11) and patatas bravas ($8). The “Charcuterie and Cheese” section offers platters of meats and cheeses, with charcuteries priced according to choices of one $6) or three ($18) varieties, and cheeses at one (5) or three (15) types. It also features the option of 25 grams of acorn-fed pata negra ham ($18). The “Large” section offers more traditionally sized mains, like Spanish seafood paella ($21) and Basque chuleton ($32), a 16-ounce ribeye steak traditionally served with Basque cider – an option on the drinks menu, alongside organic and biodynamic Spanish wines.
The atmosphere of the restaurant recalls that of Basque cider houses, covered in light wood, but with a cleaner, classier sheen. It's not an altogether unpleasant combination of tradition and New World. The restaurant also offers a market section, opened from 9am-3pm and offering baked goods, charcuterie and retail gourmet food items.
- Emily Monaco
Reservations: Click for reservations
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