HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Discussion

Marea or Ai Fiori?

  • j
  • 6

One celebratory evening - any opinions?

Thanks!

-----
Marea
240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

Ai Fiori
400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. While I've never been to Marea, I had a great dinner at Ai Fiori in March.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ellenost

      While I've never been to Ai Fiori, I've had a mind altering meal at Marea. I've also had a great meal at Osteria Morini. So I'd say, stick with Michael White and you can't go wrong!

      -----
      Marea
      240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

      Osteria Morini
      218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

      Ai Fiori
      400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

    2. I assume you have looked at the menus for both, so what appeals about each and what else is important to you? Both restaurants are very good, so it's hard to say which will work better for you without knowing more about your preferences.

      1. We thought the food was better at Marea. More of a vibe at Marea too. Pretty room at both spots but we still give the edge to Marea on that too. Marea is a bit pricier, and it is indeed pricy. Good luck.

        -----
        Marea
        240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

        1 Reply
        1. re: comiendosiempre

          Agree. Ai Fiori is the safer choice. Marea is more distinctive.

          -----
          Marea
          240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

          Ai Fiori
          400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

        2. I have been to both and loved both. Michael White is a great chef in my opinion and I have never had a bad experience at any of his restaurants (including the now closed Convivio and Alto). You cannot go wrong at either Marea or Ai Fiori. Food is excellent and service is very good.

          I felt the server was a little colder at Marea. I went there for lunch as opposed to dinner at Ai Fiori, however the food did not suffer one bit.

          At Ai Fiori I went with 3 others so I got a chance to sample more of the menu, whereas at Marea I dined solo. At Ai Fiori there were many standouts including the squab appetizer, gnocchetti with crab (same as what was served at Convivio), risotto with lobster, dover sole, lobster, and lamb chops. Desserts were good but nothing particularly special.

          Still, with that being said I think if you held a gun to my head and asked what was the better overall meal I think Marea edged it out. The lobster appetizer, fusilli with octopus, and the halibut they had last year with peas and morels were all just outstanding. Three of the top dishes I had all of last year. I didn't get to have dessert but I'm sure they do that well also.

          It really comes down to what you are looking for. If it is great seafood head for Marea since that is their speciality. For a more well rounded menu, Ai Fiori may be a better option. Either way you will have a wonderful dining experience.

          -----
          Marea
          240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

          Ai Fiori
          400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018