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“Great start to a theatre evening” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mercer Hall

Mercer Hall
104-108 Ontario Street, Stratford, Ontario N5A 3H2, Canada
+1 519-271-9202
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Ranked #5 of 114 Restaurants in Stratford
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $13 - $45
Cuisines: Bar, Contemporary, Gastropub, Eclectic
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Great food is about passion and our chefs have it in spades. Our kitchen team draws inspiration from a combination of local, seasonal items with a balance of fine products imported from Quebec and both Canadian coasts. When the delivery comes from the hands of the person who grows the vegetables, raises the pigs, milks the cow or catches the fish, you really start to appreciate the hard work that goes into making things taste really good! Mercer Hall is the perfect backdrop for any occasion featuring local craft beers on tap, Ontario wines and innovative cocktails.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Great start to a theatre evening”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2012

Elegant warm decor with a modern vibe and a happily full room get anticipation off to a great start, and we were not disappointed. We had reserved (totally necessary that Saturday evening - it was entirely full) and were led to a table in the back which is often bad news but were happy to find a pleasant rear room with nicely spaced tables (the front room is long and narrow with tables running close together all down one side - lots of happy buzz, but a little noisier than we like). Service was prompt and attentive without being intrusive and the suggestions seemed genuine and were helpful. The menu is not long but is based on local and seasonal produce and covered a range of offerings. For appetizers, we had the beet 'carpaccio' (thinly sliced sweet beets with whipped feta and tender salad greens) and marrow bone (roasted, with salt and crispy toasts to spoon for the melting marrow). Both were a bit out of the ordinary and really delicious. My husband had the pork schnitzel. Sometimes a real disappointment but not this time. It featured really tender meat in a crispy, ungreasy crust and came with a molded red potato salad and pickled cauliflower picalilli, both great flavour accompaniments. I had the rainbow trout which was simply though nicely cooked and came aop a selection of braised mini root vegetables. These were good, but I found the flavours didn't really blend so well with the trout. We found portion size just right and were happy to skip dessert in order to get to the theatre in good time. We both felt it was a wonderful meal and would happily return.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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212 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    130
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Acton, Ontario
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Disappointed!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

This restaurant has the potential of being first class, but falls short as far as the food goes. The ambiance of this space feels very urban and sexy and the decor is stunning. I LOVED the whole feel of Mercer Hall. Service was wonderful and the wine list offered numerous options. Where this restaurant fell short was the food. So disappointing! I found the menu was very limiting, but I got over it. The meal itself was another story. There were six of us dining together and 4 of us felt the same about the food. The pretzel rolls with mustard dip were an interesting start, but we agreed that we would have liked a couple of regular rolls thrown in the basket for those non/pretzel lovers. Not a big deal. The scallops arrived at the table cold, which left some doubt about their doneness. The steak with the frites was a little chewy, and again, not very hot. Our biggest disappointment was the ceasar salad. Our server did a fantastic job praising and selling this appetizer but, truth be told, it was terrible. The croutons were very oily with absolutely no flavour and the salad itself was extremely bland with barely a hint of garlic. The creme brulee we ordered for dessert was okay but we didn't get the whole donut thing, that accompanied it. A jelly donut without the jelly? It tasted like a bread ball .... not very good! One companion popped it out of her mouth as quickly as she had popped it in! LOL Truly, not what she was expecting.

Having said all this, I still enjoyed my evening at Mercer Hall but would hesitate to return again.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Best quiche EVER!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012 via mobile

Wow! I've had good quiches in major cities around the globe but Mercer Hall has the lightest, most flavorful quiche I've ever tasted. It was accompanied by a wonderfully fresh green salad. I'm impressed with this new addition to Stratford's collection of good restaurants.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
“Better than average, but not Very Good”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

This was a bit of a tough one to rate, as I feel this restaurant is good, not average - and not very good.
We dined here recently prior to seeing a performance in Stratford.
The appetizers were excellent (beet "carpaccio" - clever and delicious) and scallops (not a perfect sear but pretty good)
The mains were a bit of a mixed bag. The steak (steak frites order) was soft, but very chewy and not overly flavorful. Not sure about the cut of meat used for this - almost the consistency of bison. The fries (not frites) were good.
The pork schnitzel was great, potato salad side was nice, fennel side not so much (licorice seemed to overpower the other flavours - guess I'm used to seeing fennel used more with fish)
Dessert was also mixed. Good creme brulee, not big on the waffle.
Wine list was excellent.
Service was good, not great. Our server was friendly and knowledgable, but vanished for a large part of the dinner service. I suspect she was asked to serve another section in addition to her own. We waited over 45 minutes between our app, and our main - almost felt like they had forgotten about our table. That was disappointing after a promising beginning to the meal.
Overall, this is a pretty good restaurant for the area, and a very reasonable choice. That said, I think I will try another option the next time I'm in Stratford, before returning here.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Hoopla it is!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

If you're the kind of person who likes eating at places that are "a must eat there to be seen" then this is the place for you.

We went for brunch - a very limited selection.

I wanted to order a cocktail - chilled but with no ice. The server came back to say that since the drinks would not be layered since I wanted no ice but all the ingredients would be mixed! LOL...isn't that precisely what a cocktail is!?!

I then requested for a glass of white wine instead. It tasted a little sour, like it had been opened about 12-24 hours ago, so I simply asked the barperson when the bottle was opened - earlier that day or the evening before. The lady went on to give me a lengthy explanation of how long bottles of red and wine can be kept open before they go bad. After she finished with her patronizing spiel - since I OBVIOUSLY came across as being an uncultured immigrant who has never had wine before - I asked her again when the bottle was opened. She deigned to finally answer that it was earlier that day.

We had the smoked trout with red quinoa. It was terrible - the only thing you could taste was the salt. The quinoa was over done and full of salt. An absolute nightmare!

The overall service was fine - nothing to write home about. The barperson/sommelier was simply rude. The food isn't worth the money we paid for. We were recommended this place by our B&B hosts so we went. Bad call.

Sometimes people are willing to put up with sloppy or slow service when the food is exceptional. This place is going on our "We highly suggest you avoid it" list.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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