Deputing in 2012, Josef Centeno's venture, Baco Mercat, has made quite a splash on the food scene downtown. Following up the success of his Lazy Ox Canteen, Centeno has created quite the restaurant Empire, which also includes Bar Ama, Orsa & Winston, and Ledlow. The menu is inspired by Western and Eastern Mediterranean flavors, changing seasonally and serving a combination of small and large plates. Though it's been around for a few years now, the restaurant is still as hot as ever-- it was completely booked on the Wednesday night that we went!
Our first dishes included a few small plates and appetizers, like the Sugar Snap Pea and Pear Salad. The salad was light and refreshing, and the burrata was great. It was a solid salad, but perhaps a bit too citrus-y.
The hamachi crudo was also good. I enjoyed the avocado, and the has brown was fantastic. The crudo was light and tasty, and I enjoyed the texture. Another solid dish.
The stuffed squash blossoms were one of my favorites of the night. They were stuffed with ricotta and eggplant, and the texture was fluffy. The flavors were really nice, and it seemed like a great, fun, tasty spring dish.
The ricotta ravioli with pork sugo was another good dish. The ravioli had a bit of a chew to it, and the dish was complex. Another solid offering.
We finished off the meal with the Toron Baco, one of the restaurant's signature flatbread sandwiches. Filled with oxtain hash and horseradish yogurt, as well as some greens, the sandwich was delicious. The flatbread was great, and the oxtail hash was really fun and delicious. This was definitely one of the best dishes of the night.
Overall, the meal was good and solid. Every dish was good, and a few were really good, but nothing blew us away. We would definitely come back, but we're not sure if we would go out of our way to do so.