I've eaten at Mercato several times and have had a good experience--interesting, well prepared food served in a comfortable dining room with attentive service. On first look our most recent meal seemed to follow the pattern, but it didn't. The $12.00 shaved artichoke salad was small and rather bland (a theme for the evening); however, the grilled octopus salad was delicious--sweet and tender and accompanied by a salad of shaved fennel, haricots verts, red peppers, and olives. Just what I expect at Mercato. The main course, described as braised bison short ribs (two very small pieces of meat) coated with "porcini flour" and cooked with cocoa, served on a bed of saffron risotto, was like the boring, bland version of pot roast my mother used to make (not worth a trip back home). Another diner had a farro pasta dish which he pronounced "boring." Although the restaurant was far from full, we had a very hard time getting the attention of a server (any server) to get the pepper grinder to try to put some flavor in the food. Not what I expect from this restaurant--
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