speducci mercatto

Speducci Mercatto

Speducci Mercatto is an Italian butcher shop and restaurant in the Castlefield Design District where you can get either dine in or get your hands on take-away goods.

Tucked away in an easy-to-miss industrial area off of Keele Street, Speducci first opened in 2014 and has since become a neighbourhood staple.

Though it was raining quite heavily when we came to visit, the dining room was buzzing with activity. Owner Rosie Scavuzzo explains that this is typical for weekday afternoons.

speducci mercattoThe dining room itself is rather understated, with simple wooden tables surrounding a central bar. Classic Hollywood movie posters adorn the brick walls, while clips from black and white films play on a large TV.

speducci mercattoRosie tells us that both lunch and dinner attract large crowds, though lunch tends to be more corporate and dinner tends to be more family-oriented.

Speducci tends to get a lot of repeat customers, many of whom are on friendly terms with Rosie and the staff.

speducci mercatto"I don't even think of them as regulars," Rosie says. "They're more like extended family at this point."

speducci mercattoTake a right at the entrance and you'll find yourself in the mercatto, a bright modern space that acts as both a market place and a cafe.

speducci mercattoWhile not as busy as the dining room, there are still plenty of sights and smells to take in. Shelves are lined with bottles of wine and olive oil and display cases are filled to the brim with fresh cuts of meat.

speducci mercattoKlidi Lazimi is Speducci's executive chef and the culinary trailblazer behind its newest menu.speducci mercattoA graduate of the Istituto Professionale di Stato per i Servizi Alberghieri e della Ristorazione, Klidi is well-versed in a variety of cooking techniques.

Though he takes pride in every dish he makes, he places particular emphasis on appetizers and entrees, which are the main focus of the menu.

speducci mercattoCarpaccio di tonno ($26) is one of the lighter options. This appetizer consists of thin strips of ahi tuna, dressed with Campari-infused tomatoes and Speducci's own extra virgin olive oil.speducci mercattoTartare di manzo ($27) is another solid starter. A twist on classic steak tartare, this dish is displayed atop a piece of bone marrow.

Crispy capers, cured egg and mustard dressing give the chopped Angus tenderloin a sharp, almost acidic taste without overwhelming the meat's natural flavour.

speducci mercattoPanzanella di mare ($27) is a seafood salad made from calamari, shrimp and mussels, tossed with sourdough croutons, heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers and red onions.

This dish is a masterclass in contrasting textures. From chewy calamari to crunchy croutons, every ingredient brings a different sensation to the meal.

speducci mercattoTonno e cipolla pizza ($25) is one of Speducci's signature pizzas. This white pizza makes use of squacquerone cheese, preserved albacore tuna, caramelized sweet onion, toasted pine nuts and fresh basil.speducci mercattoCasarecce 'nduja e funghi ($27) is a standout pasta dish, thanks to a delicious combination of housemade 'nduja, ricotta and Parmesan cheeses and sauteed shiitake mushrooms. speducci mercattoTagliolini al branzino ($27) consists of thin, ribbon-like pasta and minced European sea bass, topped with fresh lemon zest, garlic and olive oil.

Though considerably lighter than the casarecce, this fish-forward dish still makes a big impression.

speducci mercattoIf you’re looking for a larger helping of seafood, consider trying the Branzino ($48).

This sizeable portion of Chilean sea bass is served with potato rosemary millefoglie and saffron vellutata, and garnished with Pecorino crisp and asparagus tips.

speducci mercattoAgnello in crosta ($52) is one of the largest — and perhaps most decadent — dishes on the menu.

This half-rack of lamb is covered in a thin layer of crunchy pistachios. The meat rests on a layer of minty salsa verde and yoghurt sauce. Grilled endive and heirloom carrots round out the meal.speducci mercattoMoving on to the dessert menu, the creme brulee al mandarino ($14) is a citrus-infused creme brulee. Fluffy creme anglaise and juicy mandarin topping add a new dimension to the familiar dish.speducci mercattoCannolo scomposto ($14) is a deconstructed version of cannoli. The sweet, crunchy shell is made in-house and served with pistachio pastry cream, ricotta gelato and candied orange peel.speducci mercattoPanna cotta ($14) is a simple but effective dessert.

The heavy cream base is good enough to eat on its own, but its flavour is greatly enhanced when paired with balsamic caramel, almond crumble, and macerated raspberries.

As for liquor, Speducci's cupboards are well-stocked. In addition to a wide selection of wines, there are many different cocktails to choose from.speducci mercattoThe Limoncello Spritz ($17) is sure to appeal to lemonade lovers. It mixes Cicchetto limoncello and Ziraldo prosecco with sparkling water, lemon juice and thyme for a smooth, mature take on a classic summer drink.

speducci mercattoMeanwhile, the Paloma Padovana ($17) has a salty-sweet taste, courtesy of Aperol, Espolon Blanco, agave, sparkling water, grapefruit and lime.

Klidi and Rosie both suggest that a creative menu, a welcoming atmosphere and fresh ingredients are the most important things for a restaurant to have.

I'd say that Speducci checks all three boxes, and is a spot worth seeking out the next time you're in the area.speducci mercatto

Speducci Mercatto is located at 46 Milford Road.

Photos by

Fareen Karim

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