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“Somewhat disappointing”
Review of Mercato

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Mercato
Ranked #7 of 47 Restaurants in Red Hook
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Rhinebeck, New York
Level Contributor
113 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Somewhat disappointing”
Reviewed August 5, 2013

We had seen some good write-ups concerning Mercato so my wife and I needed to try. The pasta dish was, indeed, excellent. Pasta seems to be the big claim to fame. Otherwise the food just ok, no "wow" for us. The staff seems to cater to a core of "regulars." They fawn over them and embrace them like they're the best buds in the world. These customers seem to relish the show of special attention, probably what keeps them coming back. The staff literally seems like they're play acting their roles, and we thought for sure they must be wannabee actors and actresses (Bard influence?). But they seemed in no way sincere, which hurt the service aspect. This may indeed be the "best in Red Hook" as one poster said, but that doesn't say much. Many fine restaurants of all types are just down the road in Rhinebeck, including 2 well-known Italian (I have reviewed some of the Rhinebeck restaurants on Trip Advisor).

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank dougiefresh_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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142 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Red Hook, New York
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Officious waitresses, dreadful place”
Reviewed July 28, 2013

The staff, with the exception of a nice waiter, seem to feel they are working for Higher Office. They strain to speak in a refined way , "indeed" instead of "yes". They bristle when the customer asks for a better table. Two diners were both served at the same time, but in one case the fish was simply, dangerously undercooked. I asked them to regrill is for a bit, but kept my noodles so we wouldnt be eating in two shifts. When 15 minutes passed , and the fish had not been returned, i got up and told the waitress i didnt want it any longer. Nevertheless, a while later, it was brought. We had long finished out small portions, i did not feel like eating on my own, so i asked them again to take it back. The waitress seemed to want to issue demerits. She took it, charged me in full. No apologies were offered. No compensation. We're never going back there. The Market in Rhinebeck is just as good, not as noisy, not quite as expensive, and the staff is lovely.
News for the locals: in a restaurant in Italy, this would never happen!

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Sam P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Spectacular FAIL: truly the most entitled, affected, pretentious and terrible service we have ever had anyplace on the planet”
Reviewed July 21, 2013

We arrived 20 minutes late for our reservation (we had gotten lost) and were apologetic and concerned that we might have lost the table. They said they could seat us and we were grateful. From the moment we sat down, we were rushed - and this is understandable but the manner of rushing was CRAZY. They passed out the menus and immediately asked us to order. we had for kids aged 8-11 with is and they needed a minute to decide, which they were not afforded, which resulted in some bad decisions. after mentioning my husband and i were dairy free, the kale salad was auggestes, which we hurriedly orders. Rhey arrived 69%kale, 31% ricotta cheese....and the attitude of the staff was one of such erudite food superiority that when this mistake was pointe our they more or less said there is not time to do anything about it "you can pick out the big pieces of cheese, right?" WHAT? Then, when they had served half of our appetizers, moments later (not everyone was served first course) someone new came and asked if they could wrap up (to go!?!?) our starters. Same thing more or less happened with the main course with an added nasty twist that our son's entree came out after everyone else had more or less eaten theirs and te table was cleared and so he ate alone (since we were told to hurry). Finally someone came and offered us dessert.....the four kids ordered various flavors of ice cream and we ordered espresso. Moments later our waitress came and asked if she could please place them in plastic containers, to go. We had not even been in the restaurant 45 minutes and she said (pointing to a group of people stading at the bar 10 feet from us) they are waiting for your table and if you'd like we can recommends a place for you to take your kids for dessert. We had ordered a pricey bottle of red wine, which we were more or less forced to leave on the table unfinished. My husband was so flabbergasted he asked to speak to the manager, a thirty-something with an air of superiority and a paucity of good manners, elegance, knowledge of customer service or basic people skills. She ended up more or less yelling at us in front of our children that we had been told we were in a rush because we arrived late. My husband then pulled her as kids when I took the children to the car to explain why he was doing something he had never done before - leaving a $0 tip and she essentially told him she did not want his business anyway. Twenty minutes later we were having dessert at another restaurant when the manager took it upon herself to call my cell phone and left me a 10 minute message which I will paraphrase in one sentence, "I am sorry you had a bad experience we told you to hurry up and eat so what did you even expect?". We will never go back and we hope this young group of people running this restaurant will understand the food is OK but without more maturity, respect for their clients and clearer communication, their business will fail. I plan to post this review everywhere humanly possible and I am not a vindictive person, I just felt my family was treated so unkindly, so inappropriately and with such little respect, these people need a wake up call. Also, my husband is French and we lived in Italy for a year with our children and we have both lives in France and throughout Asia. The food at this place is a B- on a good day so the charm better be in the service. And it's not.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
6 Thank Bogusfood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
michelealana, Owner at Mercato, responded to this review, July 25, 2013
Thank you for your feedback. As the owner of the restaurant and witness to your visit I find the number of inaccuracies in your review surprising. Please understand, we can handle a bad review, it is part of the territory, this is a wide open forum and we are not immune nor do we fear it. But to have a libelous account of this degree portrayed is offensive and quite frankly shocking. We work tirelessly to provide the best possible experience for our guests. My husband is the chef and he shops daily for the finest, freshest ingredients and our front of house staff have never nor would they ever treat anyone in the way you have proposed here, we enjoy a loyal following that demonstrates this to be true. We deeply regret your unhappiness but the fact that your husband came behind our bar and physically offended our manager, to which we have many witnesses, and nearly shoved an elderly customer to the ground as he stormed out makes us equally unhappy. If a situation stemming from circumstance rather than intention sets you on a course to destroy a family business, then I wish you peace.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Palm Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
273 reviews
210 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“Excellent Italian in a cozy atmosphere”
Reviewed July 7, 2013

Had a great dinner here with friends before attending the Performing Arts Center at Bard College. All the starters and salads were delicious and fresh. The pastas were cooked to perfection. The wine is extensive and spans a from reasonable to expensive selections.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank BizLuxTrvlr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Upstate New York
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Notably Unsatisfactory”
Reviewed May 28, 2013

This was my third visit to Mercato. However, this visit paled in comparison to the first two visits. The waitress was downright sullen, even more so after we noted that we were there to celebrate a birthday. The portions were 1/2 less the size than the first two visits. That is, the full dinner plate was so small as to be mistaken for a childs portion. The flavor of the food was notably absent. The noise level is very high. This particular factor we were well aware of beforehand but wished to dine there regardless as our first two dining experiences were good. One note : they do not serve mixed drinks, only beer and wine. There are exceptional restaurants in this beautiful area of New York State but sadly Mercato is currently not one of them.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank saariilo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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