Bartender of the Month: Vittoria Visco

Vittoria Visco brings hospitality skills honed in NOLA to Market Street at Mercato Restaurant and Bar.

Photo by: Amy Tucker
Interview by: Courtney Potts

How long have you been here? I’ve been working here for about two years.

What made you want to start working here? During the summertime I noticed there was a lot of people outside eating on the patio. The aesthetic of the place really caught my eye; I thought it was so pretty. I walked inside right away and asked if they were hiring. Lucky enough, they were. Shortly after, I began working as a server and then eventually moved on to bartending

Do you prefer to bartend or serve? I like bartending — it’s a little more personal. Serving sometimes feels rushed when you try and get to know some of your customers.

What do you enjoy most about the job? We have a really great crowd and
a core group of regulars. They make my job feel really fun.

What’s the typical crowd? Definitely professional, more upscale, but still relaxed. People like to dress nice when coming out to eat here. We don’t really get a college crowd, or a super rowdy group. Things never get out of control.

I’m sure it’s nice not having to worry about things getting out of hand. I worked in New Orleans right in the French Quarter, and it was such a different atmosphere. It was wild. It’s nice to come back somewhere that has a nice ambiance.

What took you to the Big Easy? I moved down for a little bit to bartend. The service industry there is huge and hospitality is one of their biggest industries. So, I went to save up some money to go back to school. It was a lot of fun and a great experience.

Are you also involved with catering? Mercato does a lot of wedding showers, graduation events, and private parties. When we do off-site catering we typically transport everything, set up, serve, and clean up once everyone is finished. We also do a lot of parties and events in the wine cellar.

When you’re not bartending, what are you usually up to? I go to school full time for public health. I’m very passionate about it, and I love focusing on health through food and cooking. I think it’s another reason why I like working here so much. We serve modern Italian food, and everything is made from scratch—you can tell the cooks put a lot of work into each meal.

I’m sold. And we have a great happy hour that’s the perfect way to try a lot of our menu items. Drinks are discounted,wines are half priced, and there’s a bunch of small plates. It’s a lot of fun, and it only gets better once the patio
opens back up.

What should I get to drink? I suggest the blood orange cosmo; it’s the most
popular drink here for a reason. I can make it with my eyes closed; I do it so much that it’s muscle memory at this point.