As devoted NYC "foodies" and weekend residents of Dutchess county, we're thrilled that we can drive 5 minutes to Mercato in our funky little town of Red Hook. The food is amazing, and also makes intelligent use of the local Hudson Valley bounty. We live in Brooklyn, in an area with more than its share of wonderful Italian restaurants, but Mercato beats them all. We have been fans of Chef Francesco before he moved to his adorable current location, and find his menu to be a pretty much perfect combinaton of comforting and inventive. I particularly love the chicken liver bruschetta and any of the various pastas (highly recommend home made ravioli in sage/butter sauce), and the main courses are always interesting and tasty. We've been to Mercato fairly often since it opened, and have not experienced any of the staff issues discussed here. In fact, despite a changing wait staff, they have always seemed consistently young, sweet and aiming to please...but perhaps that is because we tend to be more relaxed and forgiving once we're outside the city environs! We usually take our visiting city friends here, and they all can't wait to return. At any rate, do not miss Mercato - you'll be cheating yourself if you do. BRAVO, Francesco-- thanks for making our Red Hook weekends even better!!!
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