The opening team behind Casa Caña and Publico is stirring the culinary melting pot once again with its latest venture, Bar Mercato, a European food hall-inspired concept slated to open near Faneuil Hall in late February. Drawing influence from open-air markets and food stalls, husband-and-wife duo Jairo Dominguez and Teodora Bakardzhieva, along with business partner Theo Bougas, tapped their travels abroad for the internationally driven menu of shareable plates and creative cocktails.
“They wanted European-centered food,” executive chef Casey Lovell explains. “And my background is in classic French cuisine, so I wanted to roll with that while playing with
HALL-WORTHY: Executive chef Casey Lovell will whip up big and small plates at Bar Mercato.
Taking up residence on the bottom floor of the Hyatt Centric—a forthcoming hotel near the Old State House—the restaurant, designed by Arrowstreet, will feature industrial accents, floor-to-ceiling windows and an 18-seat L-shaped bar. The 48-seat dining area includes refurbished-style tables underneath contemporary light fixtures.
“The design was all based on feeling like you’re in a marketplace,” Lovell says. “We wanted it to have that rustic feel, like you’re walking into an old world.”
The kitchen will serve daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, and also operate a grab-and-go cafe with fresh-baked pastries and an espresso bar during the day. The menu will feature a section for shareable snacks, like charcuterie boards or items like bacon-wrapped dates covered in blue cheese and an orange glaze, and fried smelts served with tartar sauce. Bigger bites will include options like free-range brick chicken served with herb-roasted fingerling potatoes, carrot puree and chicken jus. The bar program will highlight European wines and beers and feature a vast selection of vermouth, as well as cocktails like the Sangre de Toro, made with vino, Averna, limoncello and wild blackberry liqueur, and the Lady of Versailles, which mixes gin, St-Germain, cardamom, lemon and bubbly.
“I’ve done a lot of research on street food from all different countries,” Lovell says. “Looking at marketplaces and different views of the culture and how they eat food, then taking it back here and figuring out what Americans are interested in buying and how I can really push those limits.”
Bar Mercato 54 Devonshire St., Boston barmercato.com