I was transported back to Italy after I read “grazie mille” or “a thousand thank yous” as I signed our party’s name to the wait list at Carrboro’s newest Pizzeria Mercato. Now I know there has been a lot of press already about the restaurant, and that this blog already featured a piece on it, but I thought who better to review than someone who just got back from Italy last fall? So if you can stand one more opinion, read on.
After getting an email with Jill Warren Lucas’s blog, I quickly texted our friends to ask if we could get to the pizzeria at 5:30pm instead of our originally planned 6pm as I had a feeling it would be packed. We waited only a few minutes for a table, which would not have been the case had we stuck with our initial time.
In true Italian spirit, I went with simple, classic dishes. In my opinion, that is what is best about Italian food – the wonderful flavors that come from making simple dishes exceptionally well. We started off with the field greens salad to try the highly touted (by our waitress) champagne vin-dressed greens. Everyone at our table commented on how delicious and fresh it tasted. To the chagrin of the dietitian writing this piece, it is not often that salads get that much attention. For our mains, Alex ordered the mustard greens pizza, and I had to go with the margherita. Like mentioned before, the crust was crispy yet chewy, and the pizzas came out piping hot from the oven, just as they should be.
Aside from tomatoes, gelato was the most common thing we ate on our Italy tour, so we tried both the salted caramel gelato and the lemon coconut sorbetto. If Chef Gabe wants to open a stand of just gelato in the summer, I can promise this girl will be a regular. Bravo, Pizzeria Mercato, and grazie mille for bringing a taste of a country we so love just a walk away.