Central Park South
York, NY 10019
+1 (212) 582-5100
This was one of two extraordinary
lunches I enjoyed at Marea recently. It had been a few months since my last
visit, and I had forgotten just how extraordinary the food and service can be.
Lunch started with the trio of crudi, which can also be ordered separately. The
passera (fluke) and dentice (snapper) and tonno (tuna) were all impeccable. The
fish was simply crystalline and pure. We also had the Nova Scotia lobster,
which is one of the signature dishes at Marea. The combination of lobster,
burrata and eggplant is unusual, but it just works, as do most of Michael
White’s creations. The same can be said
of the fusilli with braised octopus and bone marrow, which is one of the most
compelling dishes in New York City today. I never tire of it. The idea of
octopus braised in red wine and bone marrow is, like all beautiful things,
simple and maybe even a touch obvious in retrospect, yet totally unique. Rouget
is one of my favorite fish because of its intense flavor and elegant texture.
Marea served the fish completely deboned, removing any and all obstacle to
savoring this fabulous dish. The rouget was delicious, but the accompanying black
farro was equally flavorful. It would have made a stunning dish on its own.
Tiefenbrunner’s 2010 Müller Thurgau Feldmarschall came across as
surprisingly big and almost dramatic, but with fabulous balance. Hints of lime,
white flowers and crushed rocks flowed effortlessly from this striking,
chiseled white. I adore Alto Adige whites with Marea’s cuisine. The
Feldmarschall was firing on all cylinders.
I was completely blown away by Beniamino Zidarich’s 2008 Malvasia,
which was suggested by Francesco Grosso, Marea’s Wine Director. I had just been
to the cellar a few weeks earlier. Still, I was not fully prepared for the
exquisite beauty of this wine. The Malvasia, which sees a short period of
contact on the skins, was fabulous. It blossomed in the glass with layer after
layer of varietal flavor, revealing tons of depth and exceptional pedigree. It
was superb on its own, but really blossomed with the food. This was a great
showing from one of Italy’s top artisan growers.
We skipped dessert. The cookies and
chocolate served with the espresso were more than enough after this big, rich
lunch. Marea remains one of the very top spots in New York City for great food
and wine, especially in mid-town, a neighborhood with more than a few
pretenders. Though not inexpensive, Marea delivers the goods…and then some,
time after time.
Trio of Crudi; Passera, Dentice,
Nova Scotia Lobster, burrata,
eggplant al funghetto, basil
Fusilli with red wine braised
octopus, bone marrow
Pacific langoustines with Murray
River pink salt
Mediterranean rouget, black farro,
thumbelina carrots, chanterelles, pickled ramps
Müller Thurgau Feldmarschall