Marea, NYC 4
March 19, 2013
Marea has become one of our favorite restaurants in New York. Although our last blogpost dates back almost two years, we have enjoyed it since then without blogging. Linda and I returned for dinner on March 5, 2013.
We ordered glasses of Prosecco Superior Brut, Borgoluce (Veneto.) With the prosecco we had
sea urchin, lardo, sea salt
This is an excellent combination and a great way to start a meal; the richness of the sea urchin and lardo are perfect with the sparkle of the prosecco.
We made our selections from the menu for the standard offering at Marea, a four-course meal at a prix fixe of $97. There are about ten choices for each course. We ordered a bottle of a Ligurian white wine: 2011 Laura Aschero Vermentino. It had good fruit with a bit of acidity and went well with all of the cuisine.
The amuse-gueule was a crema di polenta with scallop crudo; nice, but small.
Linda’s first course was
jumbo lump crab, pear, brussels sprouts, parsnip, prosciutto
The two pieces of prosciutto made a nice contrast to the light, moist crab. The pear and the little purée were good. Nice.
grilled octopus, smoked potatoes, pickled red onions, radish, chilies, tonnato
The octopus was nicely grilled, slightly charred on the outside and still tender inside. The smoked potatoes were a nice match with it. The chilies had only an appropriately small presence.
For our pasta course we both ordered
crab, santa barbara sea urchin, basil
This is a signature dish of Marea. We always ask that it be made without red pepper flakes; we are always assured that that they are not normally part of it, which we don’t believe, but ours always arrives with the fresh flavor of the crab and sea urchin coming through nicely.
Linda’s main course was
local black sea bass, fregola sarda, cipollini, broccoli rabe, roasted carrots, balsamic
The sea bass flavor, texture and its crispy skin made a nice center for this dish. Fregola sarda is similar to what we call Israeli couscous, but it is made from coarse semolina and is toasted creating a nutty, rustic effect. It provided a nice accompaniment, as did the roasted carrots and small onions.
holland turbot, savoy cabbage, hedgehog mushrooms, sour cherries, potato, red wine sugo
The turbot was perfectly cooked with a crispy skin. The sour cherries added a needed spark to this dish which lifted it our of the ordinary.
Linda’s dessert was
TORTA DI OLIO
ligurian olive oil cake, roasted pineapple, green apple, olive oil gelato
Neither the cake nor the ice cream had an olive oil flavor, but that was no problem; the cake had a very good, sweet taste and the gelato was wrapped in caramel stripes. The little towers were excellent fresh meringue. Linda skipped the pineapple but enjoyed the apple. Excellent dessert.
My dessert was
SEMIFREDDO DI NOCCIOLA
piedmont hazelnut, dark chocolate, grapefruit, anise mascarpone
I am a big hazelnut fan and enjoyed this.
There was a small plate of mignardises to finish.
Our meal was excellent throughout. All of the dishes were well-designed and well-executed with top quality ingredients. The service and pace of the meal were just right.
To see all of our Marea blogposts click here.