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What to eat at Marea?

Going to Marea soon - does anyone have insight on which dishes shouldn't be missed? The only one I'm definitely sold on getting is the fusilli with octopus & bone marrow...

OR is this anything that I should avoid?

Thanks for any help.

240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

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  1. Ricci, the sea urchin with cured lardo on a crostini is my death row meal - a definite must have. I also enjoyed the uovo, monkfish cheeks with wild mushrooms and a soft poached egg.

    I'll +1 your thoughts on the octopus bone marrow fusilli, it's worth the hype.

    1 Reply
    1. Marea is so over-rated and touristy.
      Try A Voce at Columbus Circle instead!

      1 Reply
      1. re: bubbleandsqueak

        I wouldn't say Marea is touristy as all. In fact, A Voce, sitting in the Time Warner Center, may be more touristy.

        I also think Marea has far better food than A Voce.

        A Voce
        41 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010

        240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

      2. Second the Ricci and the Uovo.

        Also really liked the agnolotti (veal ravioli, sweetbreads, funghi)

        1. "octopus bone marrow fusilli"

          Has there been a dish that has become so quickly popular among diners since Thomas Keller's oysters and pearls or Chang's pork bun's?
          With Sam Sifton, Alan Richman and almost every blogger out there picking this dish as favorite of the year I'm curious what those here think?

          Oh yes, did I mention even Thomas Keller picked it as best dish of the year?

          I have yet to try Marea but I certainly am tempted.

          1. I loved the Ricci as well. It is a must! And, while I enjoyed the octopus and bone marrow fusilli, I preferred the uni pasta. Both were excellent though. Enjoy!

            1. The fusilli is incredible. I wrote about it the very first night I went there (the first Friday it was open) before any hype. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/620825
              Definitely also get the snapper crudo with panzanella!

              1. The ricci is overpriced, but good. The fusilli is unreal and worth every bit of the hype.

                The olive focaccia (part of the free bread service) is one of the best table breads in recent memory.

                Skip the spaghetti with crab and urchin - it has no nuance and is overly spiced.

                4 Replies
                1. re: uhockey

                  Mentioned this in another post, but respect your opinions greatly, so here is feedback. Had the fusilli about 3 weeks ago. Portion was size of my fist, fusilli cooked perfectly. Had ONE piece of octopus about the size of a fusilli, ONE piece for $ 28, dining partner had it as well and same thing for him. To me absurd.

                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    ...wow, that is unfortunate. Mine certainly had more octopus than that and....well, my hands are normal size (I think?) and the portion size was certainly larger. I admit Marea didn't blow my mind - but that dish was excellent for me.

                    1. re: uhockey

                      That dish lived up to the hype and more.

                      Also loved the sea urchin starter.

                    2. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      Had the fusili for brunch and there was ample octopus and bone marrow plus 3 fistfuls of pasta. The uni pasta and clam pastas were even larger.

                  2. although i've had both the ricci and the fusilli neither were my favorite dishes there. i preferred the following dishes: astice (lobster, burrata, eggplant al funghetto, basil), uovo (poached egg, monkfish cheeks, wild mushrooms), agnolotti (veal ravioli, sweetbreads, funghi). also their dry aged sirloin with bone marrow panzanella was delicious.

                    1. Any standouts among the desserts? Just curious since I'm going in a couple of weeks.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: fm1963

                        the gianduja for sure....

                        and the torrone comes in second....


                        1. re: injek

                          Great suggestions! We had the gianduja, torrone and affogato today - all incredible.

                          After reading the comments about service, I was prepared for the worst but the staff could not have been more gracious (maybe because the restaurant was not packed at lunch during a holiday).

                          Ricci was not on the lunch menu but at our request our server arranged for amuse portions for the table. So delicious - certainly lived up to the hype. The lobster with burrata, tuna tartare, fusilli with a generous dose of octopus (that sauce, oh my God), and skate with chanterelles were also amazing.

                          I can't wait to return for dinner in to sample the other dishes mentioned on this thread.

                          1. re: injek

                            i think alto and marea are connected, is the torrone at marea the same as the torrone at alto. because ive seen a nyserouseats article on the torrone at alto and it looked ridiculous, i think they even made it one of the best desserts of 2009.

                            1. re: daffyduck

                              Alto, Marea, and Convivio are under the same ownership and have the same executive chef/partner Michael White, as well as the same pastry chef, Heather Bertinetti.

                              1. re: daffyduck

                                The torrone at Alto consisted of nougat semifreddo between slices of hazelnut cake, served with chocolate sauce. It's insanely delicious. The torrone at Marea was just as good, but different - some kind of spiced ice cream (eggnog?) between dark cocoa cake.

                                Marea's affogato was also out of this world - zabaglione gelato with shots of espresso and amaro. I haven't been to Convivio, but their affogato, described on the website as amaro gelato with a shot of espresso, is a variation on the same theme, and similar to the one served at Alto, which I didn't get to try.

                          2. The agnolotti with veal, sweetbreads, and funghi: Outstanding!

                            Photos of it and the rest of our dinner at Marea can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: RGR

                              I whole-heartedly agree with RGR. The agnolotti has become my new favorite!

                              1. re: kiworan79

                                Yes, the agnolotti are superb. We liked them much better than the fusilli with octopus, in which the intense tomato sauce completely obscured the octopus.

                            2. Dined here last week and thought it was pretty good, not great (mostly b/c of the service). Had the prix fixe. Started with some oysters, which were amazing. Can still taste them and would go back just for them alone. Moved on to the astice, and the combination of the lobster and the burrata was out of this world. I kept wishing my plate would never empty. My pasta (the San Pietro) was good, as was my fish, but the astice stood out the most.

                              The one thing I wasn't happy about was the service. I stood in front of the person at the reservation desk longer than I had to for him to finally raise his head from the reservation book, and he was pretty haughty. Not at all pleasant or welcoming, and not a good start. The man who took my coat seemed like he wanted to be anywhere but there. Our waiter was nice and ok--not great, but certainly not bad. Really, the people who kept filling our water and going around with the bread basket were the most personable--or what I'd expect from a place of this caliber.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: gloriousfood

                                What you said about the water and bread people being the most personable of the restaurant employees-- I have found that this is often the case in various restaurants.

                              2. Great pics on your blog. Glad you enjoyed.