Located in the Hilton Hotel in Gdańsk, the Mercato Restaurant is undoubtedly a perfect place for those who like to indulge in a little culinary luxury. The excellent location in the lower part of Długie Pobrzeże (Long Riverbank Promenade) makes it the right place to finish your Sunday stroll or Old Town sightseeing. It is an elegant restaurant, certainly appropriate for a business meeting or a family celebration as well.
The Mercato has culinary achievements to its credit. On 22 September 2012, the restaurant took the first place in three out of four categories of Wine & Food Noble Night contest, including the most prestigious award of the evening: the prize for the best restaurant for overall achievement, awarded by an international jury. As the only qualified restaurant from Pomerania, the Mercato outclassed its rivals – top eleven restaurants of Poland, including Magda Gessler’s Biała Gęś.
Moreover, the New York Wine Spectator magazine granted it – as the only restaurant in the Tricity – the Award of Excellence for the best wine list. This should be enough to convince anyone that the Mercato is a place for sophisticated cuisine and wine enthusiasts as well as for exquisite flavour seekers.
Apart from elegant and modern top quality interior, there is an outdoor terrace here, open and awaiting guests from April to October, with a view of the Motława River. Green and orange clearly dominate in the restaurant’s décor. The delights of its cuisine are the colours fresh vegetables as well as the flavours of herbs and spices. These are complemented by the wine list, whose items have been selected by the best sommeliers.
Head Chef Adam Woźniak and his exceptionally talented team do not shun or fear culinary experiments, which – as the awards prove – are tremendously successful. They do not forget about the recently popular culinary trend of slow food, which inspired giving a regional character to their dishes.
Adam Woźniak has worked in the kitchens at the Villa Hestia, the Haffner Hotel, and the Sheraton Sopot Hotel in the town of Sopot as well as at St. George and Dragon Restaurant in London. He specializes in Mediterranean dishes, adding regional elements to them. In his cuisine, he is fond of using garlic, chilli, and coriander. His culinary authority is Thomas Keller, the only American restaurateur to have received 3 Michelin stars for two of his restaurants simultaneously.
We found it very difficult to make up our minds – all the items on the menu looked delicious and tempting.
Our culinary adventure began with an amuse-bouche: St Jacob’s mussels accompanied by chervil and grapefruit enchanted us with a fresh and refreshing blend of flavours. It turns out that not only lemon is able to get the best out of seafood. As could be expected from amuse-bouches, they stimulated our taste buds. For an appetizer, we chose a dish consisting of couscous, spring vegetables, and farmhouse cheese. The composition was light, and the aptly chosen cheese gave it a distinctive character. The way dishes are served at the Mercato is a feast for those who employ all the senses when eating.
We waited impatiently for the soup, the choice being a clear consommé with duck breast, quail egg, and mushrooms. The consommé was perfectly delicate, but at the same time distinctive in taste. What caught our interest was sheep meat, and so we ordered it with millet groats, spinach, and beets as the main course. The juicy and soft mutton won the approval of our palates.
The meal had to conclude with a happy ending in the form of sweets. Being meringue enthusiasts, we made the decision without much thought.
The Mercato is famous for exquisite desserts, and even the simplest ones taste heavenly here. A meringue with chocolate and cherry mousse melted in our mouth in a wink of an eye, delighting us with the balance between taste and texture.
This sweet finish concluded our visit to the Mercato, which we definitely consider to have been a successful one.
Amuse-bouche: St. Jacob’s mussels / chervil / grapefruit
Appetizer: couscous / spring vegetables / farmhouse cheese – 26 PLN
Soup: duck consommé / quail egg / mushrooms / duck breast – 26 PLN
Main course: mutton / millet groats / spinach / beets – 79 PLN
Dessert: coffee / meringue / chocolate / cherry – 24 PLN
Text and photos: Joanna Ogórek
Mercato Restaurant – Hotel Hitlon Gdańsk
Targ Rybny 1
tel.: 58 778 71 00
Open every day from 12:00 to 23:00.
[mapa]ul. Targ Rybny 1, Gdańsk[/mapa]