Pardon the Punctuation...Before I get started I have to give props to my amazing Aussie waiter "Jonno" for giving me some great recommendations for what to order. Bäco Mercat is to quote the website," the home of the “bäco,” the signature flatbread sandwich that was developed by chef Josef Centeno." I read about them the other night and was able to make a reservation during an attack of insomnia while out of town last week. This gave me something to look forward to eating when I got back in town. Cool thing about this spot is that you can go there with a group of friends and get to try a bunch of different stuff. Fresh cocktails just happen to be a bonus. The location as a bit hipster but not the kind of hipster that makes you want to slap every one in the room with a perfectly groomed beard. It's the kind of hipster that I can stand. Chef Josef Centeno puts his western and eastern Mediterranean influences to good use with every dish. Lets get down to the food.
Boquerones: with saffron, honey, and espelette. These are like fried anchovies but not the kind you find on a pizza. Fun little fried fish that have a hint of heat but the sweetness of the honey balances your palate after every bite. A great way to start the meal.
"Caesar" Brussels Sprouts: with pecorino, anchovy and garlic. What a great spin on the traditional caesar salad. This is definitely going to be one of the dishes I look forward to recreating at home.
"The Original" Bäco: with pork, beef carnitas, and salbitxada. This was so good I would punch a baby for another one. Wow such an enchanted assortment of flavors that pop in your mouth. The flatbread is utterly perfect. No joke I've never have a more perfectly tasting flatbread. I could pore the salbitxada sauce on eggs every morning. If there is only one dish on the menu you have to the have, this is the one.
Hamachi Crudo: with abkhazian chile spice, avocado,and hash brown croquette. Never in my mind would I put that combination on a plate and expect it to taste good. Goes to show that there are things you didn't know you didn't know. Like the above dish if you have to order only two things on the menu this would be one. Found myself dreaming about this the next day. A refreshing dish that I could have easily ordered two of. Licking the plate is the best way to describe what this dish will have you doing after you try it.
Double Mushroom COCÄ: a flatbread with a barrage of shiitake, crimini mushrooms and fontina cheese. Great execution and the crust was airy and light. Nice way to finish my dinner.
Chocolate Banana Cake: with peanut butter cream, banana custard, and semifreddo. No flavor on the plate was overpowering yet you got just a hint of all the ingredients with every bite.