Opened this week on 4 July, the all-day dining site now offers a daily-changing menu from Italian head chef Davide D’ignazio, whose career has included time working at the Italian Michelin-starred restaurants Open Colonna and All’Oro, plus a stage at two-starred The Ledbury in west London.
The menu is divided into seven sections, comprising Spuntini (small plates), Salumi & Formaggio (cold cuts & cheese), Fritti & Forno (fried & baked), Grano & Pasta (wheat & pasta), Carne & Pesce (meat & fish) Contorni (side dishes) and Dolci (desserts).
All dishes are available in small, medium, and large sizes (30g, 60g or 90g for cheese and cold cuts, for example), to enable guests to choose whether to have them individually or to share with a group.
Typical options will include Polpo in Umido from Sicily; Farinata and Roasted Alioli from Liguria and Calamari Fritti from Puglia; and Wild Boar, Bresaola and Prosciutto Crudo di Parma.
Bigger main courses will be along the lines of Rabbit alla Cacciatora; Sicilian-style Roast Chicken with Peppers; Grilled Mackerel with Wild Fennel and Citrus Salad; Tuscan Parpadelle with Asparagus and Pancetta, or Gnocchi and Smoked Duck Ragu.
Desserts will include Prosecco Semifreddo and Sour Cherries, Caprese Cake with Ricotta Ice Cream, and Tiramisu. There will also be breakfast options such as fruit, patisserie, cold cuts and cheeses.
The drinks menu will feature traditional-style Italian aperitifs, alongside homemade limoncello for every diner.
Décor-wise, the restaurant showcases hand-drawn illustrations of traditional Italian produce, while the menu features the history of the “mercantes” of the site’s namesake.
Mercante joins the hotel’s other dining options, including its Palm Court café serving cake, afternoon tea, cocktails and canapés, and the Smith & Whistle Bar serving cocktails and bar snacks.