Want a killer bund view without the price tag? Mercato stands the test of time among culinary giants that have to push for premium real estate spaces overlooking Zhongshan Dong Lu, and Pudong’s famous skyline. In such a breathtaking dining space, Mercato doesn’t pale in comparison either. The dining room is massive, yet cozy with a rustic vibe. The exposed massive ceiling beams, and mix of wood and concrete, reveal its loft like character, making it all the more stunning. Distressed wood structural beams and large bay windows (like something you’d see at a members only club in London) enhance this sensual environment thought up by Neri&Hu. It’s indulgent, but not overwhelming or stuffy. What can I say? I’m a sucker for affordable luxury, an honorary Shanghainese after all. Mercato shares a space with Jean George’s self-titled pinnacle eatery at ‘Three on the Bund’ and takes the 6th floor no less.
I’ve lived here for over six years and I’ve seen restaurants, clubs, and even dodgy dive bars get swallowed up by this giant concrete jungle that takes no prisoners. If you don’t cater to the bustling, bougie, and busy demanding masses, you have a year at best. Mercato has been here since my grad school days at Fudan where only the cool and collected came to celebrate their birthdays in style.
I’ve wined and dined for many a long-gone friend’s celebration here, and this place is still one of my Shanghai staples.The restaurants authentic Italian food, with a little megacity flare, appeals to picky diners who know what they want, and have eaten their fair share of greatness.I went here just a few days ago, post-Thanksgiving, but pre-Christmas with the halls decked out in Christmas cheer. I ordered the porcini mushroom risotto asa starter and an amazing cut of beef as my main. My friend ordered a pizza. Go high or low, Mercato is the way to go. And I suggest going with a large group to get their massive steak offerings for the full table. Nothin’ better than breaking bougie bread with your besties in a beautiful place.