Celebrity chef Jean Georges' first Italian restaurant opened in 2012 in a splashy location overlooking The Bund with warm leather and wood-toned decor centering the dining experience around an open bar and an Italian wood-burning stove. The seafood is fresh and well-done —especially the warm seafood salad with avocado, lemon, and parsley—as are the housemade pastas and pizzas. Regulars order the pork and veal meatball rigatoni and the spicy salami and handmade ricotta pizza dishes night after night. The mains tend to be a bit on the heavy side, but those who like hearty, fancy Italian will find their place at home here—especially those who like to eat family style, as there's certainly more than enough to share. The hustle of the place and sometimes frustrating inability to flag down a waiter makes the experience feel like dining at an upscale cafeteria at times. But most will find the delectability of the food worth the hassle. Book early to get a table—in 2013, Mercato was the spot to take out-of-town guests, celebrate special occasions, and see and be seen. The restaurant has garnered a number of local and international dining awards, including a spot on Condé Nast's "2013 Best New Restaurants in the World" list.
3 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, 6/F
Our Rating Neighborhood Around town Hours 5:30pm–1am Transportation Taxi, or 20 min walk from Metro: Nanjing East Phone 21/6321-9922 Prices 300-500 rmb per person Cuisine Type Italian Web site Mercato