Mercato Artisan Food & Gifts just opened in North Beach on Columbus near Green, nestled between Stella’s Pastry & Lola’s Card Stop.
Mercato features imported and local artisan food and gift products, with a focus on Italia that befits the neighborhood. You may not know many of the artisan goodies, but don’t worry. Almost everything in the store is available for tasting.
I did a balsamic vinegar flight. I tasted a 6 and 8-year old traditional balsamic and a young and 6-year old white balsamic vinegar. My favorite was the 8-year old traditional. It was syrupy, the sweetness nicely balanced by the mild acidic finish.
Drizzle a few drops of this finishing vinegar on grilled vegetables or a sharp cheese. Any of these vinegars would pair well with fresh strawberries to create a simple dessert.
Stop in and say hello soon. Don’t forget to taste before you buy. If you live in North Beach you get a local’s 5% discount.
Mercato is the second retail location for Buyer’s Best Friend, the San Francisco wholesaler of a carefully curated collection of artisanal food and other products. Check out Bold Italic’s take on wholesaler Buyer’s Best Friend and their Haight Street retail store.