On a brief stay in Daylesford Victoria we visited Mercato restaurant for dinner. Make sure you book ahead. We did and on a Thursday night it did get busy. We are always happy to pay well for food we expect to be better than most. In this case we were not disappointed in fact we were very delighted. Not at Rock Pool standard but then at a third the price. My pork and the wife's fish were both of good portion and superbly prepared. You will not go hungry. We did add a side and I would suggest you do but share it. Leave room for dessert. Accompanying sauces and veggies were also right up there with what you expect really good, well cooked fine food should taste and eat like.
We stayed at Ambleside only ten minutes from the restaurant on the other side of town. I would suggest, if staying at Daylesford, you also stay here. In a word - "Excellent". Back to the restaurant. Service is excellent and efficient. No long waits for your meal as would expect in any classy establishment. Not a huge selection on the food menu but the drinks menus is as thick as an encyclopaedia. I'm sure though you will find a culinary temptation or two. We did.
Décor is old world-ish as is Ambleside. Daylesford can really take you back to the "feel" of early country Victoria. Both our desserts were also very good, add this the earlier great main, a glass of fine wine and a long black to finish off and your done. And done in a nice, no, in a very nice way.
Mercato is worth a trip to Daylesford just for a fine dining experience at a more relaxed price. Stay in Daylesford and cab there and back so you can share a bottle of the local grape. An overnight stay, a walk through a nice little town and a fine meal is a good way to recharge and relax. We did and we are going back for yet another recharge. Check this one out.