In the last few years Borough Market has undergone some serious renovation. The wine-tasting venue Vinopolis is the latest to get on the act with its new ‘Vinopolis Piazza’ in a former tool hire yard tucked behind Stoney Street on the edge of the market.
Assisted by restaurateur Claudio Pulze – who’s also responsible for Vinopolis’s other eating and drinking establishments, such as Wine Wharf, plus a raft of other London eateries (including Osteria dell’Angolo) – the piazza houses Del Mercato restaurant, trattoria-cum-pizzeria, bakery and bar, all glass-fronted, and built into the brick railway arches. The restaurant sets itself apart from the more casual, bare brick and blond wood atmosphere of the others with white napery, candles and suited staff.
From the menu of modern Italian dishes, a Venetian-inspired starter of mackerel and pumpkin in saor (a sweet and sour dressing including pine nuts and softened onions) on charred polenta pieces had a good balance of flavours. A special of own-made tortelloni stuffed with crabmeat and served in a broth speckled with tender squid and prawn pieces had a decent al dente texture, but the seafood didn’t quite sing due to a heavy hand on the salt.
A satisfying main of fork-tender, Chianti-braised lamb shank with creamy celeriac mash would have sat just as comfortably on the menu at British restaurant Roast round the corner.
Del Mercato is unlikely to set pulses racing, but with smart dining, quick lunches and evening tipples all ticked off by Vinopolis Piazza’s combined offering, it may well prove popular with the local office crowd.
|Venue name:||Del Mercato||Contact:|
|Opening hours:||Bar open 11am-10.30pm Mon-Sat. Trattoria meals served noon-10.30pm Mon-Sat. Restaurant lunch served noon-2.30pm Thur, Fri, dinner served 6-10.30pm Tue-Sat.|
|Transport:||Tube: London Bridge tube/rail|
|Price:||Main courses Trattoria £6-£14. Restaurant £11-£21. Meal for two with drinks and service (restaurant): around £85.|
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Poor service, poor food. We planned to have dinner here. We arrived and ordered two beers, 10 minutes later I had to ask a waitress to check where they were. We ordered caponata to share, while browsing the pizzas on offer. The starter arrived, on it's own, so we ordered some bread to go with it. The bread arrived, two of the slices were so dried out we could not eat it. We decided against ordering any more food, as what we'd had was poor. We asked fur the bill, which arrived promptly. I mentioned that the bread was a little stale and dry, and instead of apologising, she started arguing that it had been baked this morning and could not be stale. I saw where the bread was kept, pre-sliced and open it's not rocket science that it would dry out? At no point after we received our order did someone come check to see if it was ok. Instead the staf all walk around shouting and joking with one another. Such poor quality, and the bill was just under £20.00. Would not recommend.