A cousin was caught in a photo of Marea when it was named #1 Best Restaurant in America in GQ, which is where we heard of it for the first time. That cousin, the creator of the Avanzato Feast of Seven Fishes, raved about it as his latest favorite restaurant, so we knew it would be good. But in the way things go by the wayside in NYC, we still never made it out there until a work perk forced us to.
And it was divine. The server was friendly and tolerated my wife’s question on whether the beautiful dish on the website was in the menu. (It was not. It was merely an image from their photo shoot.) We ordered what we thought was a modest selection of two appetizers, a pasta dish and an entree, and ended up stuffed anyway.
The sea urchin wrapped with lardo could very well be your last meal at deathrow. I could do without the lardo as the urchins were meaty and melted in your mouth, the lardo upping the whole combination to another level of indulgence. What is lardo anyway? To me it just sounds like cured fat.
I misread the foie gras terrine as a seared foie gras appetizer, but the addition of truffle broken by the sweet of fruit made for a nice melody.
Ah, and the polipo. In an ideal world I would have an unlimited supply of octopus, which always reminds me of Palawan, where in the morning you could pick up some seafood and grill them on an island you sailed to for the day. Marea’s polipo gets as gentle a treatment as it deserves, and we loved it!
Clean and fresh pasta flavors are so refreshing. The squid ink pasta with butternut squash drew one’s focus to the delicate flavor and texture of the black pasta, accentuated only by a hint of squash sweetness, and the subtle flavors of shrimp, scallops and seppia.
When it came time to the steak, my wife claimed it was aged for fifty years, so I first held back and said that I refused to eat beef that was older than me. I was laughing of course, because I knew it couldn’t have said “years.” The fifty-day-aged sirloin arrived medium rare and was the cap to the evening’s meal that definitely sealed the deal.
Marea is tucked away in Midtown and Central Park West, steps away from Columbus Circle. It was fancy enough for a romantic dinner but relaxed enough for me to take the food pictures I get to show you. I still regret not having photos of Per Se and Chef’s Table At Brooklyn Fare, but my words will do until I can sneak a camera in my eyeball the next time. Thanks, Marea.
240 CENTRAL PARK SOUTH
NEW YORK, NY 10019