Last night we decided to try out a new restaurant in Logan Circle – with the soft breezes it was the perfect temperature for a dreamy walk to Merkado Kitchen.
“What did you say?” my husband Chris was craning over the table to hear me.
“I said this could be a really romantic spot,” I shouted.
I was prepared to possibly not like Merkado Kitchen. There were a few mixed reviews online, but then again, who takes any of those seriously? ;)
We went for a late dinner around 9:30pm, thinking perhaps it would be calm. No such luck – the place was packed. We headed to the bar to wait with some far too syrupy mojitos and to ogle the beautiful people. The dining room has very high industrial ceilings and a bare floor, which leads to some ear-cringing decibels. The warm orange walls and flattering lighting adds to an overall feeling of vibrancy.
Though we had an initial upset when Chris’s salad turned out to be just a plate of watercress (when they say “salad of greens” they really mean greens), the food turned out to be absolutely delicious. I had a very yummy ceviche (which more than made up for the blah ceviche I had earlier in the week at the over-rated Rosa Mexicano) and then a firey yet creamy grilled squid stuffed with crabmeat in a coconut curry sauce. The salad fiasco was salvaged by Chris’s entree of a lovely salmon over shrimp and dashi risotto.
At about 10pm the sound level normalized as most diners had finished and left, and we got to enjoy the rest of our meal in relative quiet. It was at that point that I really began to like the place. The warm glow of the walls with their kooky murals, our relaxed waiter, the open kitchen – I could see it being a great place to relax and try out some innovative new flavors. Just not at peak times, unless you’re with an equally raucous group of friends!