Blink and you might miss this gem.
Located in the Harwood District of Downtown Dallas is the quintessential example of a European Bistro. Surrounded by shady trees in the area of St. Ann’s Court, you feel precisely 4,942 air miles away. The moment you consider that you are next door to a big tall building in Downtown Dallas, it is a bit surreal.
Mercat Bistro is cozy, inviting, a bit romantic and has some really cool antiques.
We shared appetizers and started off with the Coquille Saint Jacques (scallops, bread crumbs, and compound butter). 6 scallops on breadcrumbs and butter served on 3 small seashell plates served on a platter with some cooked spinach. The texture of the scallops was spot on. The presentation was nice and to be honest, if I was there about an hour earlier when there was hardly anyone around, there is a good chance I may have licked the butter and bread crumbs right off those 3 seashell plates.
Next, we went for the Endive Salad. It consisted of gorgonzola, pears, candied pecans and a Dijon vinaigrette. A huge portion of rich cheese with the mellowness of the pears, the crunchy sweet pecans and the tang of the vinaigrette – this was no lame salad. It was a taste explosion.
My friend got Steak and Frites (steak and fries). The hanger steak was seasoned well, super tender, and a good size. It also had herbed butter on it. The truffle fries came with both mayonnaise and ketchup.
Though not really a meal I frequent in the heat of the summer, I ordered the Coq Au Vin (chicken in wine). One of my favorites, it is hard to find, so I panicked and thought I best take it when I can get it. The chicken was perfect, the sauce was perfect, the potatoes were perfect and whipped cloud fine. For the second time during this meal, I had to refrain from licking the bottom of the plate.
For dessert, I wanted something super French. I had my mind made up and then Timothy, our most superb server, mentioned they were offering a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and chocolate ganache. Say no more, Timothy. By this point, I had no shame and ordered that cake with a big glass of milk with ice. I am pretty sure I had a milk mustache at the end. I did lick ganache off my finger.
This is a casual restaurant, but it is not inexpensive. I am a generous tipper so this meal for 2 with no wine was about $140. It was worth every penny.
I needed to walk after dinner so we just strolled around St. Ann’s Court. They have green barefoot grass to walk on. There is a giant chess set. There are several benches you can sit on. The tall building has a Samurai exhibit and with the dusk lighting and the wind in the trees reflecting off the glass in the lobby, it seriously looked like there were some bad ass Samurais riding on horses through that empty building.
So, if you are in the DFW area and you get the wanderlust for Paris, head on over to Mercat Bistro. I am pretty sure you can catch me there on my birthday.
2501 N. Harwood St,
Dallas, TX 75201
Location: 32.79186, -96.80625