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“excellent food and service”
Review of Mercat a la Planxa

Mercat a la Planxa
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Ranked #76 of 9,839 Restaurants in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Bar scene
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Downtown / The Loop
Cross street: Balbo
Transit: Nearest Red-line Stop is Harrison, head east on Balbo, restaurant is on the corner of Balbo & Michigan. Bus lines are the #3, #127, #129 all three stop at the entrance of Mercat a la Planxa.
Description: Mercat a La Planxa features an extraordinary selection of tapas dishes from cut-to-order charcuterie and cheeses to fresh seafood, steaks and chops, all inspired by Barcelona & Spain's Catalan region. The impressive menu includes an emphasis on meats and seafood served a la planxa or grilled-to-order. At the bar enjoy a tempting array of seasonally inspired sangrias, Spanish-styled cocktails and martinis, and for the wine lover choose from our extensive collection of Spanish cavas, and our carefully selected wine list featuring 40 Spanish wines available by the bottle or by the glass. 3 Private Dining Rooms available for that special event you are planning. From boardroom luncheons and corporate events to anniversary dinners and birthday brunches, Mercat is the perfect location for any celebration!
Reviewed February 15, 2010

we loved the food at mercat and our waitress was excellent.

things we especially loved :-
the spinach, fig and serrano ham salad, fantastic.
tuna with foie gras.
flatbread with white anchovies.
braised pork belly.

the cocktail with cucumbers and basil, lovely.

we will go back

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Thank divenuts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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786 - 790 of 850 reviews

Reviewed February 13, 2010

OK we got there 15" minutes earlier than our reservation and got sat immediately _ Friday noght at 730PM. PLac was packed and it is loud and busy. We had a second level table right on the edge so we could look into the room and the kitchen...nice. Tasting menu ( with wine pairings) is the way to go..over 13 different selections came out and none weren't anything but superb. Something special for each of us four. Octupus, bacon dates; grilled gambas (prawns) , beef; lamb chops; Serrano salad; chees plate all were great. Chocolate Croquetas and the Olive oil cake (yes Olicve oil) were deadlky good to end this marvelous meal. Three and 1/2 hours and never once rushed.

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Thank MicSte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2010

Almost every positive review of this place says the food is great. Almost every negative review says service is terrible. Mercat has set its priorities - hype atmosphere, perhaps good food. But I believe that with all the negative reviews about service, they simply do not care about that.
Tried to have lunch at this place on January 10th. My reservations were canceled without warning; they use an electronic reservation system and I happened to check my email before leaving home. No reasons were given; an automatic email told simply to phone the restaurant. Not even a phone call. Anyway, I was told "a private event" was being held and they should have never given the reservation in the first place. New reservations were then made for January 16th.
Arrived at Mercat on the dot; I was told by the hostess to wait by the bar that I would be seated in 5-10 minutes. To make a long story short, 60 minutes later I was not yet seated (even though some people were definitely seated ahead of us even though arriving later). When I complained to the hostess, she simply pretended she did not have a clue about what was going on. "Oh, what's your name? Oh, were you not seated? Oh, you should have been seated by now... Please wait 10 more minutes and we will get you a spot". I obviously left. Complained by email - guess what? Never got an answer.
They may have good food but so do many other Chicago restaurants. If you prefer going to hip places and pay a lot of $$$, this is the place. But be prepared for long waits and terrible service. I don't think it is worth it.

2  Thank rbvfontes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2010

First off, the restaurant was very accommodating when we had to change our Saturday evening reservation from 8:30 to 9pm, AND we got an awesome table for two up on the second level overlooking all the hustle and bustle below. We did the chef's tasting menu with the wine pairings, and we weren't disappointed. I'd also wanted to try the bacon-wrapped dates (per someone's recommendation on this site), so we ordered that separately--those turned out to be among our favorites, along with the butternut squash dumplings over lamb ragout (I could have eaten a whole meal of that!) and the pork belly flatbread. Our server expertly described everything and she was attentive without hovering. We were too stuffed by the end of the meal to try any dessert. I think next time I would forgo the chef's tasting menu and just pick several items so that we could enjoy a dessert as well. But the tasting menu was a great way to get to know the selections. Definitely not a cheap night out, but oh so worth it!

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Thank edegenhard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2009

We are from Philly and LOVE Jose Garces, so on a recent trip to Chicago, we decided to check this place out. We were not disappointed. We went for a Sunday brunch, the place was dead. Server was really nice and helpful. Had the eggs benedict and the hollandaise sauce was to die for, just delicious. Also had the homemade pork sausages with white beans, croquettas and chicken soup. Each dish was just incredibly delicious. The atmosphere is pretty cool in there, but I'm thinking it could probably be fairly loud when full. I can't wait to visit Chicago again and go here for dinner! I would highly recommend this restaurant (and all of Jose's others too!)

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Thank Rigel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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