I’m totally, completely obsessed with restaurant dessert menus. Everywhere I go now, I ask for one, even if I’m not entirely sure I want a dessert (I need to carefully consider my options; a dessert means no cupcake later on in the day!). Let it be known though that I never used to be. I mean, I’ve always loved the idea and existence of dessert menus (goodness knows how many I’ve drooled over throughout the years), I’ve just never enjoyed the treasures from them. But now, I have a growing collection of fabulous desserts I’ve photographed and written about and it’s become one of the funnest things to do on the blog!
We have the Austrian apricot jam crepes from Old Country Inn, the spicy Mexican chocolate mousse from Milagro, the sweet and adorable strawberry custard trifle at Simple Bistro, the bright and juicy citrus tart with candied orange and cream from Sen5es, and the green tea cheesecake from Sushi Time. I loved them all and it’s a head scratcher, even for me, as to why I haven’t taken advantage of more dessert menu items. You all know how deeply I adore dessert. In my world, dessert is a meal in and of itself!
So, why the sudden change of heart and course of action in relation to restaurant desserts? Before, I never used to order dessert because 1) I was always too full after dinner to eat another bite, no matter how sweet, delicious and decadent, 2) some places just didn’t have dessert menus and 3) admittedy, I didn’t feel like spending extra money. It’s not like I’m suddenly rolling in dough now (I wish!) but because of the blog, I’m much more selective and strategic about where I go, what things I want to blog about, and the yummies I think will resonate with everyone. And dessert just happens to be one such yummy! Fruit desserts, chocolate desserts, cakes, pastries, ice creams, mousses, you name it, I’ll find it.
This Part III wrap-up post on Trattoria Mercatto features their decadent dessert menu in all its glory with a spotlight on their amazing, fantastical, magical marshmallow and caramel dessert! Mercatto’s dessert (dolci) menu is all about the sweet and creamy in all different types of desserts in all different forms. We have the 3-scoop Mad Italian gelato bowl, tiramisu with mascarpone crema, the torta di formaggio ricotta cheesecake with dulce de leche and caramelized bananas, the budino vanilla pudding with biscotti and amarena cherries, and my pick, the coppetta ($6.95) with caramel gelato from Mad Italian, salted peanuts, and marshmallow! I really wasn’t feeling the peanuts that day so I opted for a nut-free dessert with just the caramel and marshmallow and good lord was this dessert ever DELICIOUS! Hands down, the most delightful marshmallow dessert I have ever had. The most delightful caramel dessert I have ever had!
My sweet and creamy dessert came in a jar (lovin’ the jars, guys!) with layers of marshmallow cream, caramel gelato, and sweet caramel sauce. The top portion was like a heavenly, fluffy marshmallow, whipped cream cloud with ooey, gooey marshmallow cream directly underneath. Digging a little further down unearthed the rich, creamy caramel gelato and down at the bottom was the sweet sauce. And this jar wasn’t small! This was a fabulous size, comparable to the circumference of a decent-sized mug. And I loved how the textures complemented and played off one another. The creaminess was woven in with the fun gooeyness of the marshmallows so that you had bites of airiness from the marshmallow portion and bites of cold gelato and warm sauce melting in your mouth. So decadent, SO GOOD! Just as a side note though, dig deeper and haul the caramel sauce from the bottom to the top. You don’t want to do what I did and eat the layers in order. I loved the caramel sauce but I was left with too much of it at the bottom on and no more marshmallow cream to go with it! Silly me. So learn from my snafu and fold the layers in.
I honestly couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed eating at Trattoria Mercatto. I had a feeling I would like it, but I never anticipated loving it as much as I do now. The food, the sweets, the atmosphere, the nice people – it’s all there and I can’t wait to go back again and again.
Trattoria Mercatto is located at 220 Yonge Street inside The Eaton Centre on the 3rd floor on the northern, Dundas Street end of the shopping centre. They serve 3 other locations in Toronto under the Mercatto name (Bay & Adelaide, Toronto Street, and the Mars Discovery District on College Street). They are open for both lunch and dinner 7 days a week (Monday-Saturday 11:30am-11pm, Sunday 12pm-9pm at the Eaton Centre location). Click HERE to view their website with menus, upcoming events, catering, news, and more!