Marea

Marea
240 Central Park S
New York, NY 10019
Midtown West

April 21, 2018

Second Review : 2018, 04

Three years have passed and multiple visits have been made in between, Marea is still a stalwart of New York City dining. It is not the all-dancing kind of fine dining restaurant for serious eating. It feels rather like a bourgeois spot for occasional indulgence.

IMG_4638

Scampi – pacic langoustine, murray river pink salt

IMG_4634

Ricci - maine sea urchin, lardo

I have always wished that I can privately polish off some deluxe crudo bites before my party arrives.

Sea urchin crostini was usually a centerpiece during the early part of the meal. The gauzy lardo coat did not only shine, but shined with flavor. It was an assured umami bomb.

IMG_4804

Polipo – grilled octopus, smoked potatoes, pickled red onion radish, chilies, tonnato

IMG_4645

Strozzapreti – jumbo lump crab, uni, basil

IMG_4647

Grilled Asparagus – anchovy vinaigrette 

IMG_4649

Paccheri – crab, basil, calabrese chillies, mollica

IMG_4807

Tagliolini – manila clams, calamari, pepperoncino

Primi course was the surefire hit. It specialized in the kind of layered, multicomponent pasta dishes. While some plates (Strozzapreti) featured a full, lasting flavor, others (Tagliolini) might present a bright and sharp profile. Every combination was able to deliver surprises until the very last fork.

IMG_4808

Ippoglosso – roasted halibut, spring onion, fresh garbanzo pea leaves, mint

Marea was known for its seafood, so fish cooking, in general, can be counted on. This simple-seeming halibut tasted complex enough with novel things like pea leaves and mint puree. It tied together with a menu based on global eclecticism rather than traditional Italian dogma.

IMG_4811

Tiramisu

I’m still not big on dessert. Sometimes my guests would order one, then I got a lovely affogato. But if everyone was happily full and decided to pass dolci. The complimentary tiramisu bites were there. And I was grateful for it the way I was grateful for the whole meal, as well as, the tide (marea).

-

First Review : 2015, 03

4P6A5262

Astice - nova scotia lobster, burrata, eggplant, basil

4P6A5267

Fusilli – durum wheat pasta, red wine braised octopus, bone marrow

4P6A5263 Capesante- seared sea scallops, crispy potato, bluefoots, spinach, mushroom cream

Marea is my predominant go-to place when I crave for the top quality Italian food. I want to only focus on three OGs today.

Antipasti:I love acting as Mr. fancy pants and paying the supplement to the lobster with burrata. The burrata was almost in liquid form but still holding up together as curdy as ever. The fruity burst of cherry tomato led out the undercurrent sweetness of the lobster. It was simply euphoric.

Pasta Fatta in Casa:The trademarked fusilli was untouched by time. This was the one marrow pasta that ruined me for Bestia’s marrow pasta in LA. Its integration and complexity were beyond imagination. You just have to try.

Secondi:The sea scallop, once again, upheld Marea’s high standards on seafood. The scallop itself was huge and lively, scored an easy 5 stars with the perfect cooking time. I was also amazed at how flawless the crispy potato was in a pure sense. It was similar to the unpinguid mouthfeel of roasted potato, only with the decadent taste of fries.

So far,  have never been let down by any dish at Marea. I would want to keep it on my premium eats list for forever…