Best Italian Restaurant

Il Mercato, 5650 Spring Garden, 422-2866

Ciao, bella! It’s amore for Coast readers: Il Mercato managed to pull in three times as many votes as runner-up Da Maurizio. The new location (in the old Harvey’s space, just a minute up the street from the old one) is bigger, noisier and brighter. Prettier, even: Tuscan yellow walls, Murano lamps, placemats with perfect folds. Carafes of magic olive oil elixir. Check out the glass showcase of beautiful foods, including antipasti and dessert bombes. And mamma mia, it’s good cooking when the focaccia comes with all kinds of bellissima combos like black olive pesto, tomato and bocconcini, or Genova salami and provolone. The main dishes include super-fresh seafood, lamb and pork: Everything is cooked from scratch and to order, with sauces to die for.

Runner-up: Da Maurizio, 1496 Lower Water, 423-0859

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