Anniversary dinner help: Maialino vs Marea
I will be in town for the US Open, and will be celebrating my anniversary as well. I have reservations at Maialino, which my brother-in-law swears by, and Marea, which was equally recommended by foodie friends in NYC.
I really wanted to go to Eleven Madison, but alas, they are closed.
Thoughts on which is a better bet, and always open if there's some spot that I might have overlooked.
While I like Maiaino a lot, I agree with the others that it is not a special occasion restaurant. I am not, however, a fan of Marea. I do think Winterpool's suggestion of Ai Fiori, a favorite of ours is a good one.
You might also want to consider Del Posto, a "NY Times" 4-star. We just ate there for the first time, and it was a truly impressive experience in every aspect -- cuisine, service, and ambiance. Definitely a perfect place for a celebratory meal.
Del Posto photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157631001537944/
If you were hoping to dine at Eleven Madison Park, then you'd probably be better served by Marea. It's much more of a formal, 'occasion' restaurant than Mailino. The latter's atmosphere is a slightly hip bourgeois hotel's rendition of a Roman trattoria [that's not to say it isn't wonderful -- I enjoy it very much]. Try Googling some photos of the dishes, which will give you an idea of the differences in style between the two.
Also note that Marea is ostensibly a seafood restaurant: lots of oysters, crudo, seafood pastas. There are some meat dishes though. You might also consider White's Ai Fiori if you'd prefer a few more terrestrial dishes.