We'd had reservations to eat there the last time we went to the City, but, feeling more sustainable and Greenwich Village, forfeited our reservation to eat at Dan Barber's Blue Hill instead. This time, we made it a point to go for it and save up for the $91, four-course prix fixe fare. What a meal. No wonder it's a James Beard finalist this year.
|The dining room at Marea.|
For the prime location and the fine dining experience, $91 is a fair price for an above-average dinner.
I started with an antipasto of poached yellowtail with yogurt, hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, dried bell peppers and hamachi roe. I'd never considered fish with yogurt before, but the marriage was sweet and successful, matching the buttery fish with the tang of the yogurt and earthy mushrooms.
|Poached yellowtail with cucumber, yogurt, mushrooms and red pepper.|
|Grilled octopus antipasto.|
Shaved with a perfect dusting of bottarga all over, this risotto was some of the best I've ever had. I wish I could taste it again...maybe that's a good project for this week. But where to find bottarga in this town?
|Smoked oyster risotto with guanciale and bottarga.|
|Tagliatelle with lobster, tarragon and coral.|
|Branzino with ramps, eggplant, fava beans and apricot mostarda.|
|Grilled cuttlefish with livornese sauce, braised escarole.|
|White chocolate honey mousse, basil gelee, grapefruit sorbetto.|
I can't wait to eat at Marea again. I'd actually not mind naming my first-born daughter after the restuarant. Maybe that would be an appropriate honor to this approachable and highly-regarded Central Park East restaurant.