Restaurant Openings

Obsessions: Teodora Bakardzhieva and Jairo Dominguez of Bar Mercato

The couple shares their favorite international snacks and souvenirs.


Portrait by Jenna Skutnik

Just in time for the opening of their new globally inspired restaurant, Bar Mercato, married couple Teodora Bakardzhieva and Jairo Dominguez share their favorite international snacks and souvenirs.

Photo by Toan Trinh

ITALY

Alessio Vermouth Chinato

“My love for vermouth comes from my mother,” says Bakardzhieva, who will highlight the fortified wine at Bar Mercato. “She always had a bottle in the fridge and drank it with an ice cube.” This Italian variety is “slightly bitter and very aromatic…perfect for Negronis!”

Available at Eataly Boston, Back Bay.

Photo by Toan Trinh

TURKEY

Turkish Delight

“Growing up in Bulgaria, I often got Turkish delight as a treat,” Bakardzhieva says. “You can find some of the best at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul—rose water, pistachio, and bergamot.”

Available at Turkuaz Market, Allston.

Photo via iStock

BULGARIA

Sirene Cheese

Technically, only specific Greek cheeses can be called feta. But Bakardzhieva is partial to the version found in her native country, where it’s called sirene. “Bulgarian feta is super creamy, milder, and is usually made from cow’s milk. I put it on everything,” she says.

Available at Six Star Market, Woburn.

Photo via iStock

SPAIN

Jamón ibérico

This cured ham is a staple at Spanish markets like the iconic La BoquerÍa, one of the European food halls that inspired Bar Mercato. The pigs’ acorn-heavy diet yields meat that is “nutty and melts in your mouth,” Dominguez says.

Available at Bacco’s Wine + Cheese, Back Bay.

Courtesy photo

GREECE

Souvlaki skewers

“Souvlaki is my favorite street food from Greece: meat and vegetables grilled on a skewer, wrapped in pita,” says Bakardzhieva, who’ll serve it at Bar Mercato. “If you don’t want to keep turning the skewers at your next party, get this motorized version.”

Available at spinarri.com.

Photo via iStock

PORTUGAL

Pastel de Nata

This cinnamon-dusted egg-tart pastry was created by 18th-century monks in Lisbon. “On a trip to Portugal we discovered pastel de nata at a food market,” Dominguez says. “My wife ate one every day for the rest of the trip.”

Available at Modelo’s Market Café, Somerville.

Photo by Toan Trinh

FRANCE

French Baskets

When she hits farmers’ markets, Bakardzhieva uses these stylish and reusable straw totes. “In France, you see a lot of people using these beautiful handmade bags. They are perfect for oversize vegetables. Très chic!”

Available at french-baskets.com.