Mercato-http://www.mercatonyc.com/mercato is a small, hole-in-the-wall in Hell's Kitchen, NYC. If you're not looking for it, you'll miss it. The only reason I found Mercato is because I was meeting my mother-in-law for dinner as we both work in the neighborhood and I googled "best restaurants in Hell's Kitchen". This is one of the first places to pop up. Done and done.
I have been here several times now and it's one of my favorite Italian spots in the city. A little bonus-it's a bargain. It was actually voted one of NYC's best value restaurants by Michelin Travel. 99% of the menu rings in at well under $10 for salads and apps and under $20 for entrees. I know my southern and mid-western peeps would slap me saying these prices are a bargain, but for NYC I promise it's a steal.
The ambiance is very old world Italian-small, dark and romantic. The tables are insanely close together but with all the other pluses you won't really mind. Every dish is homemade, fresh and made with lots of love. You can literally taste it. Below are some images of my favorite Mercato dishes. They're open all day so it's also a great spot to hit before a Broadway show or play as it's very close to the Theatre District. Gustare!
Creamy Burrata with fresh chopped tomatoes. One of my favorite Italian combos.
The very important vino.
Homemade Lasagna Tradizional...It def makes my top 5 best Lasagnas EVER. Yum!
My Fettuccine al Funghi made with fresh pasta noodles and sauteed mushrooms. I could just die.
Get to Hells Kitchen stat.