Homefront: Oh! Olive Oil
So you know merlot from pinot. What about frantoio from kala-mata? At Mercato Restaurant, an Italian BYOB in Philadelphia, olive oil is the new wine, with a tasting menu of seasonal oils made from olives and olive blends. Oils hail from around the globe, from Australia’s Red Island to the rich, full-bodied Novello Di Macina, which is harvested in Sicily for one week each year. “We have oils that leave a peppery finish, while others are more fruity or smell like tomatoes,” says Dari Sutton, promotions manager. Up to six oils appear on the menus. Each is served, unseasoned, in a glass, and comes with bread for tasting and a price tag of $1.50-$2. Or take a bottle home ($13-$28) and have your own tasting party — no corkscrew required.
Mercato restaurant, 1216 Spruce St. 215-985-2962; www.mercatobyob.com.