William Shakespeare once famously wrote, “if music be the food of love, play on.” And that’s something that Alfonso Muras and the team at Piazza Mercato have truly taken to heart -creating a space where music and food intertwine in perfect harmony.
One of the latest additions to the Hunter Street ‘eat scene’ Piazza Mercato is all about the casual Italian market vibes by day, but as the sun goes down, the tunes kick off, offering an enticing cabaret-style dining experience that is quite unique to the CBD.
An eclectic array of local acts are showcased from Thursday to Sunday on the red curtain-backed stage which can be viewed from the floor or the venue’s mezzanine level, while a steady stream of DJs only helps add to the vibe.
“For me Piazza Mercato is a cultural hub that is all about food and live entertainment,” Alfonso told Newcastle Live.
“The food is definitely the main part of this business, but the cultural experience and the entertainment are equally important, and I want to create a space that gives artists a stage to express themselves.”
Like the musical bill of fare, the menu at Piazza Mercato is just as eclectic, and ever evolving
“We try to change the menu once every two months because I find it a bit boring going to a restaurant and the menu is always the same,” Alfonso said.
“The menu reflects my childhood really, but with a twist, using the dishes from my youth but playing around to make things a little bit more modern and interesting.”
Some recent additions to the Piazza Mercato bill of fare are sure to warm the cockles of your heart as we head into the colder months.
One highlight is definitely the hearty and flavourful Pappardelle Al Ragu Napoletano which showcases gorgeous 10-hour slow cooked pork and been in tomato sauce and cacioricotta on a bed of perfectly cooked pappardelle pasta.
Or what about the Pasta e Patate? This deceptively simple dish of potato, parmesan, smoked mozzarella, truffle is one of Alfonso’s all-time favourites and we reckon that it could fast become one of yours, too.
If you’re looking for those rich, heady and comfort-inducing flavours of winter, then the Guanciale Brasato is the perfect dish. A delectable braised beef cheek, polenta and gremolata is definitely the thing to keep Old Man Winter at bay.
And that’s just three examples of the gorgeous dishes you’ll find on the current Piazza Mercato menu. A menu so inviting that it almost demands repeat visits. Especially when married with the musical bill of fare.
Coming Up At Piazza Mercato
Just check out this great selection of awesome local artists coming up on the menu at Piazza Mercato for May/June!
We’ve taken the liberty to dig through this calendar of gems for a few highlights and giving you some pairing suggestions with the equally impressive menu, creating a feast for all senses that is sure to make your Piazza Mercato experience sing!
Thursday 27.5 – Tim Rossington
Friday 28.5 – Argus
Saturday 29.5 – Ocean Hearts
Sunday 30.5 – Leah Brett
Featuring members from such awesome Newcastle acts as Photo Of The Moon, Crazy Old Maurice, and Galleri, the breezy, indie vibes that Ocean Hearts bring to the table are perfect for whiling away a few hours at Piazza Mercato.
An Antipasto Misto grazing plate of cured meats, buffalo mozzarella and an array of accompaniments is the perfect way to start this chilled out journey.
Then why not ramp up that coastal feel with a Spaghettini Gamberi E Zuccine (fresh egg pasta, prawns, cherry tomatoes, chilli, and bottarga) and a main of Pesce Alla Livornese (market fish, tomato, capers and olive tapenade) and a cheeky Popolo Gelato Del Giorno for dessert?
Why not, indeed!
Friday 4.6 Zoe K
Saturday 5.6 Josh Smith
Sunday 6.6 Naomi Dart (Cello)
The soulful sultry sounds of Zoe K make for the perfect soundtrack to a memorable night out at Piazza Mercatto.
A heady Caprino (whipped goats curd and truffle honey caramel on Sardinian flatbread) followed by an earthy Risotto Al Funghi (forest mushrooms, parmesan, cavolo nero) are sure to pair perfectly with Zoe’s blues-tinged tones.
Follow this with a Guanciale Brasato (braised beef cheek, polenta and gremolata) for main and a classic Tiramisu for dessert and you’ll be in culinary and musical Nirvana!
Thursday 10.6 Tim Rossington
Friday 11.6 Daniel March
Saturday 12.6 The Fonzies
Sunday 13.6 Sophie Aked
If you caught the beguiling minimalist duo Bravo Victor, you’d know that Sophie Aked is in possession of one of the most enchanting voices the Newcastle music scene has to offer.
Sophie’s classically trained pop sensibility would pair perfectly with an antipasto of Bruchetta Classica (tomato, garlic, stracciatella, and basil on sourdough) followed by a gorgeous Pasta e Patate (potato, parmesan, smoked mozzarella and truffle) and a main course of Zucca Alla Griglia (butternut squash, capsicum sauce, cherry tomato salad and mixed seeds)
Add to that an Affogato made with vanilla bean gelato, espresso and Frangelico and, viola! A match made in Heaven!
Thursday 17.6 Adam Miller
Friday 18.6 Holly Clayton
Saturday 19.6 Luna Menta
Sunday 20.6 Leah Brett
Adam Miller’s virtuosic, guitar playing deserves an equally expert and nuanced menu and Piazza Mercato’s Bruschetta Contadina (mushroom, tomato, smoked buffalo mozzarella on sourdough) makes for the perfect starter.
The Pasta Al Pesto (basil, pine nut Vesuvio cherry tomato and parmesan) and Bistecca Al Ferri )beef scotch fillet, broccolini, and salsa rossa) are the perfect first and second courses to get you in the mood for Adam’s prodigious playing, while the chocolate and pistachio Cannoli provides a gorgeous sweet note to proceedings.
Thursday 24.6 Adam Black
Friday 25.6 Bloom
Saturday 26.6 Argus
Sunday 27.6 Lili Crane
Lili Crane is making quite a name for herself around the traps for her undeniably ear-worm worthy tunes, such as her recent singles Gemini and The Detour.
Lili’s sweet sounds pair perfectly with a Prosciutto E Melone (buffalos mozzarella, 18-month old prosciutto, rockmelon, basil, and crostini), a fresh first course of Gnocchi Gorgonzola E Radicchio (gorgonzola, walnut, radicchio and mint), a lively Pollo Alla Griglia (chicken supreme, farro and corn salsa, porcini dressing), and a selection of raspberry, sugar and cinnamon Doughnuts for dessert.
Piazza Mercato is located at 231 Hunter Street, Newcastle. Phone 4062 8860 or head here for more information and to secure your booking.