Marea NYC was truly one of the best restaurants I’ve ever visited. The service and food were superior and we could not have asked for a better evening.
The exceptional service began when we arrived and the host somehow knew we had an 8pm curtain call. From there we ordered drinks and asked to speak to the very knowledgeable sommelier. The wine connoisseur worked with me to pick out a lovely 1er cru meursault that was everything we hoped for and more.
As for dinner itself – we started with the best risotto (it was an entrée that we split as an appetizer) I’ve ever experienced in my life. The truffle/mushroom risotto had the perfect consistency, was full of huge truffle flavor and the portion size was quite generous considering the price point. For our second appetizer, I had the octopus which was tender beyond belief and the accompanying sauce only added to its magic.
For the entrees we had the Dover sole and scallops, both extremely fresh. Because sole doesn’t exactly warrant a complicated sauce, the fish has to speak for itself with little help from other ingredients or flavors. To my delight, the sole was cooked perfectly with a nice firm texture and a side of light lemon butter sauce. The portion size was impressive and I feel it was a very reasonable price. The scallops were also cooked perfectly and the fine details in the dish did not go unnoticed (e.g. the adorable/undersized mushrooms).
Just for comparison, we dined at Le Bernadin the night before and I can’t express how much more we enjoyed Marea. While Eric Ripert’s establishment makes you feel as if you are doing him a favor to eat there, Marea’s staff is the complete opposite in that their hospitality makes everyone feel comfortable and relaxed.
Long story short, we cannot wait to return to Marea!!
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