Sunday, January 17, 2010

Marea: Seafood, Pasta, and My Latest Fave NYC Lunch

Oh, Marea ... Your Michelin 1-star, NYT 3 stars, and best new restaurant are all well-deserved.

But that wasn't why I went. I went because Sam Kim of LAist said I should, and I'm more than glad I did.

Business lunch at Marea runs $34 for 2 courses and the bright and spacious restaurant across from Central Park was a pleasure to dine in.

My lunch buddy got a tasting of three crudos for the first course ($8 supplement).
All three of the crudos we chose were wonderful but in particular I really enjoyed the delicateness and simplicity of the PASSERA which is the long island fluke with lemon thyme and olio nuovo.

For a better view: SEPPIA and PASSERA

I (surprise, surprise) ordered the ASTICE containing Nova Scotia lobster, burrata, eggplant al fungheto, basil and basil seeds.
Get it. Get it, get it. The burrata and the light basil seed sauce wonderfully accentuates the fresh lobster. Never overwhelming in any way, this was a lovely and balanced dish.

Moving into a more flavor-forward dish with the POLIPO (grilled octopus, insalata di riso, fava, yellow tomato).
Another highly recommended dish with the chewy and meaty octopus. The rice salad nicely mellows out the saltiness of the octopus and if that wasn't enough texture contrast for you, combine it with the pine nuts on the side.

In contrast to the delicate and meticulous plating of our first courses, the pasta courses looked decidedly simple but they were just as masterfully executed.
For my second course: Spaghetti with Santa Barbara uni, crab, and basil.
The creaminess of the uni really shone through with this al dente pasta. This was a dish bursting with flavor.

You can actually get some meat or fish dishes as your second course, but we both got our pasta this late afternoon. My companion had the equally delicious MARE (acquarello risotto, scallops, gulf shrimp, lobster - $5 supplement).
A much more subtle dish than the uni spaghetti - this is perhaps the best risotto I've had in a while.

Both of the desserts we initially ordered were nice but they were shadowed by the brilliance of our two courses.

The dessert portions were small and we were somehow unsatisfied, and so we ended up getting another one. Our server recommended the Torrone and it proved to be more satisfying than the first two.
Still, since the desserts range about $14 each, if you're like us foodbloggers trying to squeeze 50 eating places in a 5-day NYC trip, you'd be better off getting your dessert elsewhere.

For their crudi, antipasti, and pasta, however, there is no reason not to go to Marea. Just go.

240 Central Park South
New York, NY 10021
(212) 582-5100
Marea on Urbanspoon
Marea in New York





Looks amazing.... Someday I'll get to eat there!

Wandering Chopsticks

Ooh, I remember when you tweeted this lunch. Nice!

Kung Food Panda

Thanks! I'll be there!


definitely interested in trying the business lunch here.


The pictures are lovely! The seafood looks very tasty. Thanks for sharing.

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