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Marea vs Esca Uni Pasta

I am going to be dining alone and have been dying to try the Uni pasta dishes at Marea and Esca. Which place would be better for a) food b) atmosphere.....

As I am going to be by myself I would prefer to be able to sit at the bar and have a few glasses of wine and not look like a total creeper at a table....

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Esca
402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

Marea
240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

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  1. YoU will not look like a total creeper! You will look like a confident person who is too cool to worry about looking like a total creeper!

    1. In terms of food, I find Marea to be better in general, but more expensive. However, I prefer the uni pasta at Esca over the one at Marea.

      In terms of atmosphere, they are very different. Marea is more spacious and elegant. Quieter. As expected for it's Central Park South location. Esca is very small, with a lot more conversation going on since it serves the pre and post theater crowd given its location.

      The bar at Esca has maybe 7 seats? At Marea, there is both a bar and a crudo bar.

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      Esca
      402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

      Marea
      240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

      2 Replies
      1. re: fooder

        i liked both dishes. marea's pasta itself is unbeatable. i liked esca's sauce better

        but the best yet, is the sea urchin "carbonara" angel hair at torqueville

        1. re: another_lau

          <i liked both dishes. marea's pasta itself is unbeatable. i liked esca's sauce better>

          Same here. Esca's is uni-heavy, whereas Marea's is crab-heavy. However, I think the crudi at Marea are better and more interesting than the crudi at Esca, and Marea's dining room is prettier.

      2. No comparison. Esca by a mile. The uni is front and center. At Marea you would never know it was there if the menu did not tell you.

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        Esca
        402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

        Marea
        240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

        1 Reply
        1. I know this has nothing to do with Manhattan board, but I used to crave uni pasta when I was living in New York. Now, I can eat it whenever I want at home, since I have moved to Hong Kong, where they sell Japanese ready made uni pasta sauce! So divine~!

           
           
           
           
          7 Replies
              1. re: villainx

                I would say it's pretty good!

                There are two different brands and I prefer S&B, which has two separate pouches. One with uni sauce, the other with cream sauce. Both are really flavorful and it really tastes like uni!

                1. re: kosmose7

                  is there an english name for it? i can't find it on the s & b foods website.

                  1. re: SomeRandomIdiot

                    I don't think there is English name for it.

                    However, I found this page:
                    http://www.sbfoods.co.jp/products/cat...

                    Looks like they deliver only in Japan though.

            1. Go to Esca, sure you will look like a creeper, but they get tons of creepers there so nobody will bat an eye