What begun as an ordinary Monday evening was about to transform into an extraordinary tasting experience; I just didn’t know it yet. My friends and I (all of us are culinarians madly in love with food) had planned to get together after work one evening. It was supposed to be just a casual thing; good friends and some good food and wine. However, in a random turn of events, we decided on Marea.
Two of the three people dining had never been here before, but the one veteran diner had nothing but positive things to say. “Definitely the best pasta in The City,” he boasted. Before the car had even made a complete stop in its parking spot, he was just itching to lift the door handle of the car and bolt into the restaurant. “Just so you know, I’m definitely getting the Fusilli no matter what,” he ensured.
As I walked through the threshold of the restaurant, the bar area on the left immediately caught my attention. It was a modern, unique, vibrant shade of yellow with various earth tone stripes, immediately illuminating the night outside. The dining room, however, while still incredibly elegant, maintains a more classic look; white walls, lamps with red shades, and a few dark wood lacquered panels.
A hostess greeted us and took us to a table in the far right corner, right next to a window looking out into the picturesque New York City night. A server made his way to us to explain the menu, and throughout the night, even participated in our jokes.
Each menu item presented itself more beautifully than the next, as Chef/Owner Michael White’s creativity shines through in all of his dishes. Amongst the fore mentioned Fusilli, we also ordered various crudo items, including the Tonno (tuna) and Maccarello (mackerel). I also chose the Cappeletti, while my gentleman accompaniment also went for the Fusilli.
For dessert, we were presented a trio of bomboloni with zabaglione crema, espresso crumble, chocolate sauce, white espresso gelato. Accompanying that was the Carota, a carrot sponge, mascarpone white chocolate crema, candied pecan, and carrot ginger sorbet. Last, but most certainly not least, came Fiori Di Limone, a sorrento lemon curd tart with ricotta gelato, brown butter crumble, and candied rose. In combination with a few glasses of wine, some great company, our over-all memory of Marea was a deliciously pleasant one, assuring a return in the near future. Marea is located at 240 Central Park South New York, NY 10019. For more information about the restaurant or to make a reservation, visit http://www.marea-nyc.com.