I love food, I love ballet, I love downtown Toronto. So what could be a more exciting post-exam activity than watching the National Ballet of Canada perform The Nutcracker at the Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts downtown? (Seriously, nothing.) That's what I did with three of my girlfriends right after exams were over! And while I intended to blog about the experience itself, there isn't really much to show you (you are not allowed to take any photos or videos of the performance) or say about it. The ballet was graceful, captivating, classic, and many other beautiful words and as always, I wish I hadn't quit ballet if only so that I could have gone to learn to dance on pointe.
What today's blog is really all about is the lovely restaurant we had dinner at before watching the ballet. We sort of just picked the place based on what we (as students) could afford and what was close to the Four Seasons, and it turned out to be such an amazing food experience.
Mercatto manages to be classy and elegant with a very cozy and homey feel. The Bay & Adelaide location was relatively small, but I really loved the ambiance of the place. It was dimly lit with lots of candles and gorgeous chandeliers, and all the staff were dressed in their own smart yet comfortable clothing. I loved the use of handwriting on all their signs and some of the wall decorations. And just the overall feel of the place was very simple, clean. The entire space had a very open concept - on one side of the restaurant was the dining area, from which you could see the chefs on the opposite side preparing food in the open kitchen.
Our server was amazing - he took our coats and was incredibly friendly and even made some non-awkward small talk, and he was very knowledgeable about the very Italian menu. I ordered the linguine with white shrimp, filetto di pomodoro, and peperoncini, which not only looked appetizing but was absolutely delicious and savoury as well. Some restaurants can go overboard with their pasta sauces and many will leave me with a rather disgusting garlicy/tomatoey taste in my mouth, but this dish was perfection. It was incredibly flavourful but no one ingredient was too overpowering. I also had this yummy, thick peach drink that had a smoothie like consistency. I don't remember what it's called now because it was an Italian brand but it was really yummy and not overly sweet.
I highly recommend Mercatto in downtown Toronto if you're around any of their locations. If you love Italian, the food (or at least the pasta I had!) is so soooo divine and the service is great! It's a very classy place, great if you want something just a little less casual and little more dressy. And the cherry on top? It won't break the bank.
Oh! Here's a photo of the Four Seasons where we saw the ballet! This is about all I could take photos of at the ballet. :( I do have an outfit post of what I wore that day so that will be coming soon!
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