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Minetta or Marea?

s
starvomarvo Apr 21, 2011 02:13 PM

So, I am taking my boyfriend to dinner for his birthday and these are the top two contenders. (Yes, I'm aware reservations are hard to come by, let's assume I have that part covered.)

I know they're totally different restaurants, but if any of you have been lucky enough to go to both, which would you go back to first? The boyfriend loves both great steak and great seafood, and we don't mind a scene if the food's good, so I'm torn! All thoughts welcome - thanks!

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Marea
240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

  1. s
    starvomarvo Apr 22, 2011 07:59 AM

    Btw, to clarify, I'd love thoughts on either place generally for a special occasion on a Tuesday...not only from those who have been to both :) Hearing what others have liked and disliked is always a help! thanks again!

    2 Replies
    1. re: starvomarvo
      n
      nmprisons Apr 22, 2011 08:04 AM

      I prefer Minetta. The best burger and some of the best steaks in the city in my opinion. The place is comfortable and enjoyable.

      For a seafood restaurant, I have been very disappointed with Marea's shortsighted willingness to serve species on the brink of extinction (i.e. blue marlin). The food was good, not better than other very good Italian places in the city, and so I won't be going back.

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      Minetta Tavern
      113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

      Marea
      240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

      1. re: nmprisons
        daffyduck Apr 23, 2011 02:37 AM

        agree with this post 100 percent. id also like to add that Marea is much quieter and the ambiance is better suited for a special occasion. but i liked everything ive tried at Minetta Tavern. I can't say the same for Marea, the menu is large and there are quite a few clunks in it.

    2. kelea Apr 22, 2011 08:28 AM

      Was at Marea last year with my family and was happy with my meal. I was lucky enough to try both the bone marrow fusilli and the uni spaghetti. The food was yummy but the with all the sauce, i felt the two star ingredients acted just as a hint of flavor.

      During my visit to Minetta, I had the black label burger and was well..disappointed. That being said, I am very much a girl about burger fixin's, not the burger itself. So it makes sense that something like five napkin is more my style. HOWEVER, the table next to us ordered the Cote 'de beouf and being the best dining neighbors i've ever had, they saw my friend and i drooling over their epic cavemen size steak and actually offered us a couple slices to try. it was HEAVENLY as was the bone marrow.

      I would definitely take a steak lover to minetta tavern for that majestic beef...god now i want it. Plus i liked the atmostphese of minetta tavern more. Marea is almost a little too stiff for me. (I'm 28 and I felt way too young to be in there)

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      Marea
      240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

      1. d
        detroit1010 Apr 22, 2011 09:20 AM

        I have not been to Marea but I've been to Minetta a handful of times for dinner. Both the black label burger and the cote are absolutely stunning. I still have dreams of the bone marrow that accompany the steak.

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        Marea
        240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

        1 Reply
        1. re: detroit1010
          s
          starvomarvo Apr 22, 2011 11:38 AM

          Thanks folks! This is all very helpful, esp knowing about Marea's seafood policies and the stuffier feel - am beginning to lean more towards Minetta...

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          Marea
          240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

        2. s
          selenster Apr 22, 2011 02:20 PM

          marea was one of my favourite restaurants until ai fiori came along. but i'd go with marea over minetta. the spaghetti w/ sea urchin/crab/tomato is one of the best dishes, as is the astice starter (cold poached lobster w/ burrata, eggplant, basil oil). their crudo is also quite lovely.

          1. e
            edwardspk Apr 22, 2011 03:46 PM

            I've been to both. The food is more impressive at Marea. In my opinion, Minetta is more of a regular night dinner, not a special dinner.

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            Marea
            240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

            1. steve h. Apr 22, 2011 04:40 PM

              Another vote for Marea.

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              Marea
              240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

              1. m
                MiloCast Apr 23, 2011 03:33 AM

                Marea's definitely fanicer and more of a special-occasion place, but I can't say I was blown away by the food. Minetta, on the other hand, reliably brings a smile to my face every time I go, just thanks to the sheer pleasure their flavors give me. It's more a down-and-dirty pub environment (photos of old-time boxers on the walls, dark wood, crowding and bustling), but good lord, the food's delicious. To put it another way, Marea was a (small) disappointment to me relative to other top-end, tony dining experiences (it's no Jean-Georges, no Per Se, no Ducasse), whereas Minetta was the opposite of a disappointment - it was a very positive surprise - relative to other bustling, crowded, dark-wood pub experiences. So if it were me, I'd take someone to Minetta sooner. Better to leave 'em raving about a place that topped their expectations than politely appreciative of one that more or less met them but in a not-very-exciting or top-1% fashion.

                1 Reply
                1. re: MiloCast
                  s
                  starvomarvo Apr 27, 2011 03:54 PM

                  Thanks, that is exactly the kind of perspective I was hoping for - we've been to a lot of the "special occasion" places in town and they're a little sterile at times. So especially on a Tuesday night, the "bustling, crowded, dark-wood pub experience" might be just the ticket! Of course, not knowing of my quietly laid plans, the boyfriend has since expressed an interest in Sushi Yasuda (neither of us has been there yet), but he may be persuaded otherwise by my ability to snag such a rare reservation.

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                  Sushi Yasuda
                  204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

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