Marea - Dude Grade: A-
240 Central Park S
New York NY 10019
Btwn Broadway & 7th Ave
Phone: (212) 582-5100
Porthos has been raving about this place for a while now, so my wife decided to take me out to Marea for my birthday. I've been to Michael White's former place Convivio and I was such a big fan, but this place is at a whole 'nuther level. I'm completely blown away how delicious the food is here - the technique, the balance - just everything is spot on. Highly, highly recommended.
Sea Urchin, Lardo, Sea Salt
The ultimate example of food porn. Unctuous pig fat on sexy, sweet uni? Seriously - a complete WTF little bite.
SABA local spanish mackarel, tangerine, almonds taragon **
SCAMPI pacific langoustines, murray river pink salt ***
PASSERA long island fluke, lemon thyme, ligurian olive oil **
with morellino mignonette & cucumber-lemon vinegar
nova scotia lobster, burrata, eggplant al funghetto, basil
slow poached egg, snow crab, leeks, cardoon, bagna cauda
ruby red shrimp, chilies, rosemary
SAN PIETRO *
new zealand john dory, hen of the woods mushrooms, potatoes, artichokes, charred onion, salmoriglio
--- What the F - in a bad way | (no stars - poor to average) | * Good | ** Great | *** What the F – in a good way
Overall Restaurant Experience
- Food (A) – Spectacular Italian food and completely blown away with the stuff they're doing here. The breads were delicious - olive focaccia was so light, fluffy and flavorful.
- Service (B-) – Service was off in my opinion for an expensive joint. We were seated immediately, but we did not get a menu till a good 10-15 minutes. It also appeared there were 5x the number of bar backs to waiters, so the waiters were definitely scarce making it hard to get their attention there for things like drinks. Once the food was ordered though, the food came out a decent pace. The waitress was very friendly as well and the service got better after the initial hick up.
- Atmosphere (B) – The place reminded of Convivio even using the same leather chairs if I recall. Very bright and colorful atmosphere which was refreshing for a high end restaurant. The place consisted of large groups and couples young and old. We got there at 6pm on a Thursday and it was getting pretty busy. Towards the end it was completely packed.
- Price (B+) - About $165 for the 8 course tasting menu and the caliber of the ingredients and cooking was definitely worth it. A bit pricey, but not as bad as some of the really expensive joints like Per Se, Daniel, etc.
This is definitely tops in my book for fancy Italian food in NYC - no comparison.