55 Gansevoort St., New York, NY, 10014
nr. Greenwich St.
By bermangr on 11/30/2007
I was at a real estate event and got to try some of the food here before they opened. The food was phenomenal, and I can't wait until they open. Tried some very interesting combinations of different appetizers and a desert, and it was all great. Inside wasn't finished yet, but the space feels great and am sure it will look really sharp once they finish.
By uws77 on 2/10/2008
Tried merkato last night---the food is incredible. Flavors and dishes you will not have seen anywhere else--- a really exciting place and definitely worth a visit. The breads and kidogo (small bites) are excellent, as was the tuna entree and the doro wat. The restaurant itself is gorgeous...can't wait to go back and try more
By 722 on 2/27/2008
I went to Merkato with my husband who is from Africa and I go to Africa about 3- 5 times a year. We ordered several items on the snack section three appetizers and one entree. The lobster salad was pretty good...African how I don't know. The oysters were fantastic. Absolutely out of this world. The merguez sausage with corn polenta thingy was ok, nothing to write home about but yes I could taste some African spices. The bread basket we ordered was the best things on the menu, it was varied in style, texture and taste. We also ordered a yogurt apricot sauce to go with the bread. This was divine but so little just a couple of dallops. Not enough to redeem themselves. And we ordered several drinks. 1 out of 3 drinks was fantastic, the others just ok. Finally dessert came we had a doughnutty thing, as per advised by the waitress. Africanish perhaps but the condensed milk was so minuscule...and it was the best thing about the doughnut.
By rsr on 3/13/2008
I've traveled all over Africa and while there are a few African restos in the various boroughs of NYC, somehow none of these restaurants really captured the excitement and passion of what's really taking place across the continent. The real story is that Africa is taking off. Dakar, Bamako, Addis Ababa, Cape Town, Kigali, Cairo - these are just some of the cities where you can eat really well and taste excellent ingredients suffused with a variety of flavors. Merkato 55 changes all of that. The food was excellent (I had the steak dakar) and the Merkato fries were excellent as well. Friends of mine tried the guinea fowl, the lamb, and the snapper. Everyone loved their meal. The appetizers are excellent (we loved the plantain fries and the hummus - as smooth as silk). The wines were excellent. The mango sorbet was out of this world. This restaurant (and chef) is unafraid of trying new things and exploring new flavors for our desensitized palates. I was there for a business dinner, so I will definitely be coming back with my wife. Merkato 55 is the african renaissance come to NYC.
By mdb2026 on 3/20/2008
Like many of the "trendy" places to eat, beware of portion size at Merkato. The food (the little bit you get) is very yummy however. Service was excellent; the wait staff was always close by and ready to explain any of the delish sounding dishes on the menu. Word of caution: Small plates are SMALL plates. I asked the host whether small plates were appetizers or individual portions and she led me to believe that small plates were maybe half to Ã‚Â¾ of the size of regular plates. Not true. I had the yellowfin small plate ($16), which consisted of 3 SLIVERS of fish. And while it was quite tasty, I expected a bit more, especially since they have a section of the menu for appetizers. My friend had the large plate of snapper, which was delicious. Large should be used loosely however because it was about a quarter of a filet. The amount is just enough for one person. My suggestion: Go for appetizers and a drink. Or, if you decide to eat full dinner skip the small plates all together and shell out the $30 for the large plates. Oh yes and the decor is lovely!
By eetowt on 5/1/2008
Thought we'd give it a try to see if the "Deathwatch" is valid. This place is a monster restaurant with no one capable in charge. We waited forever................. for our table at at very weird feeling bar for MePa area. The cocktails are overpriced juice drinks - typical of a hyped up place. When we finally got a table, our server spilled almost everything. The food tasted like warmed up leftovers with some "African" spices and took forever. The meatballs had a weird chew to them. The fish was overcooked and soggy. The hummus was ordinary with regular pita. We skipped on dessert. This place is like a New York style Rainforest Cafe experience. Maybe a gift shop could help??? I wouldn't recommend it for a serious dining spot, but then I was never a big fan of Marcus Samuelson's "Scandinavian" place either.
By shawly on 5/13/2008
So unimpressive! Based on the reviews, we thought the tastes would be surprising. Instead, Merkato 55 felt like a cheesy one-off of Meat Packing standards like Buddakan. Lamb meatballs in spicy sauce with poached egg were lovely. But the sausage, duck, and pork belly dishes were obvious and leaden. Service was slow and haughty. The space is beautiful, but in that Buddakan-meatpacking-over-designed kind of way...
By panagisv on 5/20/2008
Within the last few weeks, I went once for brunch and twice for dinner. All three times, the service was very friendly, informative and helpful, especially a lady called Savannah! The food is very tasty. Not mindblowing, but very satisfactory, especially considering the prices, which are very good for the area. I'm looking forward to outside tables in the summer!
By JGalumna on 7/23/2008
It's a well-kept secret, but Merkato 55 has one of the most innovative dessert lists in town. It is set up like dessert tapas; many little desserts are priced at $3-a-piece, and it is up to you to create your plate. I suggest the peanut and pecan brittle and the white-chocolate-espresso ice cream. The cuisine is very light, so it is easy to keep an appetite for dessert.
By monkeyboy1978 on 7/26/2008
I went to Merkato 55 despite some of the reviews. However, the reviews were correct. The service was absolutely HORRIBLE! Our waiter showed up several minutes after we took our seats. However it took 10 minutes for our drinks to arrive. Our meal came fairly quickly, and the food was good. After we finished, we waited to order dessert. Our waiter NEVER reappeared. Finally, we flagged down the other waiter in our section who was ignoring us to get our receipt. We then had to ask him to find our waiter so we could complain about his poor service. A terrible experience.