Marea menu recommendations
Could anyone who has been to Marea make some menu recommendations please? What is especially good there? Coming to NYC and have resos there in a couple of weeks. Any advice from regulars and/or those who have tried a few items would be most appreciated.
Will probably do a prix fixe with three crudos (pay the supplement), a pasta, main and dessert. Any no misses?
240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019
I haven't been back in a while, but I loved it last couple of times I went.
The ricci and the fusili are musts, though I also say I prefer the lobster ravioli to the other pastas there.
If they have any branzino entree it's also a must, but if you really want to go all out they serve it a la carte whole fish salt crusted.
I was also one of the fortunate ones who ate there not long after it opened and got the lobster stuffed calamari. It was one of the very best dishes I had all last year and I was wondering if anyone knows if they'll bring it back or it is gone forever?
here's a point system of everything i tried:
astice lobster burrata-9 (really good), ricci (2 crackers with sea urchin and lard)-7, vongole (geoduck)-4.5 (really small serving), fusulli-8.5, spagetti sea urchin-6, veal sweetbreads agnolotti-7.5, bistecca-6 (really good croutons steak is soso), affogato-8 (good gelato), gianduja-6 (chocolate cake and gelato with cocoa nibbles), and panna cotta-4. their oysters and olive bread are good though.
my mom ordered it, i think im just not that big of a chocolate person. i like chocolate with other things flavors different from chocolate like vanilla ice cream or something. im never really a fan of things like chocolate covered chocolate smothered in chocolate sauce with chocolate ice cream and chocolate pieces sprinkled on top. the gianduja isnt that extreme but i would have liked it a lot more with less chocolate flavor like maybe vanilla gelato instead of chocolate
We went last night, and I was SO glad to find this posting before we went! My husband and I both had the 4-course tasting menu with wines paired by the sommelier. (And we took advice from Chowhounds for nearly all the dishes we ordered--so thanks to all of you for your posts!) Here's what we thought.
Happy to have the chance to sample the dishes that have gotten so much press. Would definitely recommend it, would happily go back. Prix fixe of $85 for four courses and matching wines for $45 felt like a very good deal for the quality of the food. Sommelier did an outstanding job not only in terms of how well the wines matched the food, but also in terms of using wines that were somewhat off the beaten path.
We appreciated that daffyduck gave specific ratings on the dishes to give us a relative comparison amongst the dishes, so I'll do the same here.
Don't miss these:
* ricci - we'd never had uni before, so were excited to try this preparation. It was delicious - the texture is kind of like "foie-gras-of-the-sea." This is one of the dishes that makes me want to bring other people to the restaurant so they can taste how good it is. (Rating: 8) The wine pairing was an Italian sparkling chardonnay - it tasted like it had just a hair too few bubbles, but it went beautifully with the ricci.
*white olive foccacia - yum. (Rating: 7)
* langoustine crudo - One of the four pieces on the plate was just absolutely creamy. I've had langoustine crudo before, so I'd experienced this in the past, but it's still surprising the second time around. I just don't expect raw fish to be creamy. Unfortunately, only one of the four pieces had the creaminess, but I'd recommend getting this anyway - it's worth rolling the dice to see if you get that creaminess! (Rating: 10 for the creamy piece, 7 for the others.) The wine pairing for the crudo was an assyrtiko.
* blue marlin crudo - just a fabulous flavor to the fish, perfect with roe on top of it. (Rating: 9)
* astice (lobster burrata) - I'm not exaggerating to say I adore burrata, so I'm biased on this dish. But they did a fabulous job. Delicious lobster, a bit of olive oil, some sea salt. Simple and perfect. Would RUN back for this. (Rating: 10) The wine pairing with this was a Greco di Tufo, which I'm not sure I've ever had in the past. It was unusual (in a good way) on it's own - maybe almost a bit oxidized, full-bodied, a little herbal. With the dish, stone fruit notes came out....so the pairing was off-the-charts good and interesting for us. (And now we'll be buying a bottle or two of Greco di Tufo for our house.)
* fusilli with octopus - Ok, so I saw that this dish was considered "dish of the year" by top chefs and critics. Both my husband and I are not huge fans of octopus, but have found examples that we do enjoy. We DID enjoy this dish - the sauce is outstanding. The octopus was just a little chewy (we tend to like it best when it is tender), but we still enjoyed the dish. Would we put it in the food hall of fame? No. But given all the press on this one, you can't go to the restaurant without giving it a go. (Rating: 7) The pairing for this was a Sardinian red with cab, merlot and cannonau. This was also an incredible pairing - it was really an experience to see how well this wine mimicked the flavors of the dish.
* veal agnolotti with sweetbreads - it's been a long time since we've had sweetbreads, and this reminded us of what we were missing. The agnolotti, the sauce, the sweetbreads and the mushrooms were excellent together. (Rating: 8) The wine pairing was a Burgundy, which of course went beautifully with the mushrooms (and the rest of the dish, too.)
* affogato - this dessert really knocked my socks off. It's gelato with espresso and some amaro poured over it. The drink pairing was also amaro. I'd never had amaro before (anisey, herbaceous, bitter in a good way). So the dessert itself was a revelation - the sweetness, the bitter, the coffee all coming together to make a flavor I'd never experienced before. And while I didn't enjoy the amaro on it's own before I tried the dessert, after I had it with the dessert, I "got" it. So it was one of those situations where I needed all those elements to be present in order for the amaro to make sense to me. (Rating: 9)
* tuna crudo - this was good, but standard. I'd go for something more adventurous just for the sake of having something new and different. (7)
* gianduja - solid dessert, but feel like I've had it before. The wine pairing was Vin Santo. (Rating: 7)
* seared black bass - we were pretty disappointed with the mains. This black bass in particular really didn't have anything to recommend it. It was a piece of fish that was properly done, but it was not jumping up and singing with flavor or anything special. (Rating: 4)
* roasted sea scallops - three scallops on the plate, which is fine for me in terms of portion, but I mention it because the two small ones were perfectly done, the large one wasn't cooked all the way through--argh. It came with a side of fava beans, peas and pancetta, and that was very good. So while it was solid, I wouldn't bother with this again. The wine pairing for both mains was Nero d'Avola. My husband told me that if I had ever suggested we pair Nero d'Avola with fish, he would've thought I was off my rocker....we only knew Nero d'Avola to be a powerhouse.. We mentioned that to the sommelier who explained that the ones we've had were likely done in a new world style, but that the traditional style of Nero d'Avola was much lighter. Sure enough, we thoroughly enjoyed this one with our dinner. Again, a revelation for the two of us. (Rating for the scallops: 5. But we got the name of this specific Nero d'Avola (Tasca d'Almeria "Lamuri" 2007) and THAT will also be making an appearance at our house!)
A few final comments: I thought I read somewhere that people had experienced snotty service, but our waitstaff was friendly across the board. The
tables for two were darned close together--the couple next to us was arguing with each other when we arrived. Not particularly relaxing to sit next to them, AND we had a loud talker behind us to boot. I explained the situation to a waiter, and requested a table change, but they didn't have anything else. Luckily all these characters settled down a bit later.
Hope this helps! Enjoy your dinner at Marea!
240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019