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2
Mon, 11/30
8:00 PM

Ratings and reviews

RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Details

PRICE RANGE
$25 - $60
CUISINES
American, International, Grill, Contemporary
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options
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meals, features, about
Reviews (59)
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LanguageEnglish
Traveler rating
37
18
3
0
1
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All reviews rack of lamb tuna tartare potatoes prosciutto appetizer special pitcher of sangria entrees maras servers sides specials
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Reviewed August 18, 2020

Having been to this restaurant a few times in the years before, we were hoping that at these uncertain times they provide a safe outdoor dining option for us to celebrate a family milestone. The restaurant exceeded our expectations. They have a spacious and comfortable...covered outdoor dining area behind the restaurant with generously spaced out patio furniture-style tables and nice music playing quietly over the speakers. The food that we were served was excellent. Appetizer specials of charred octopus, pork belly, and figs stuffed with goat cheese were divine, tuna tartar was as good as any. For main dishes the tuna and rack of lamb, and also skirt steak, were great. As usual, the special potatoes that accompany the entrees were a hit with all. A pitcher of Sangria went down smoothly with the meal. Chocolate hazelnut mousse cake for dessert was a nice finale to the meal for those who were still capable of eating by then. Pleasant and relaxed atmosphere and small groups of customers seated far apart. Great service and excellent food.More

Date of visit: August 2020
Helpful?1  
Reviewed January 26, 2020

I feel that most restaurants don't fully understand how to cook spicy food. Frequently, spicy dishes have too much heat added and the other flavors are drowned out. Additionally, my wife doesn't care for spices and I like spicy food. Everything we ordered was seasoned...perfectly to our tastes as we has requested. The rest of the aspects of the evening were also very good. The décor and ambience at Maras were pleasant. The hostess and servers were all very polite and had an excellent knowledge of the menu. The menu and specials included a lot of the usual things you expect but had some other interesting options as well. Once we ordered we the service was paced perfectly; it was very relaxed. We never felt rushed and never wondered where the food and drinks were.More

Date of visit: January 2020
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Reviewed January 7, 2020

Been here for several family and birthday parties. Management and staff very accommodating. Food is good and portions are good. Wait staff friendly and very helpfull.

Date of visit: April 2019
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Reviewed October 21, 2019

My parents took me & hubby out for our 13th anniversary. I decided to try this restaurant because it was close. I am so glad we did. The food was phenomenal. Appetizers: Tuna Tartare, Pan Seared Scallops Wrapped in Prosciutto, and a tower of eggplant,...heirloom tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella on top of spring greens, drizzled with a creamy balsamic. The Tuna & Scallops were on their regular menu, but the "tower" was a special. All 3 were absolutely delicious. The Tuna was fresh, the scallops melted in your mouth, and the tower was very flavorful. Entrees: Rack of lamb (2), Flounder special & Veal Scallopini special. The menu has the lamb crusted in rosemary, but there was definitely something else in the crust. I'm thinking it was a mixture of rosemary and Parmesan. Both were cooked to order (medium rare) and mouthwatering. I tried the Veal, which was very tender and delicious. I didn't try the Flounder (I'm not a fish person), but was told it was delicious. Each plate contained a lot of food on them. Sides: Each meal came with a side of seasonal vegetables and potatoes. The vegetables were a combo of carrots, English string beans, broccoli and asparagus. The potatoes were AMAZING! They were cooked a certain way (I was told, but don't quite remember), and then tossed with a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder, parmesan, and two spices (can't remember). We didn't have room to finish the veggies or potatoes, so my parents took the veggies & we took the potatoes. Can't wait to have them tonight with dinner. Dessert: We were so stuffed from dinner that we didn't have room for dessert. My only small complaint is that we all thought it took a little longer than expected to receive our appetizers after we ordered them (the restaurant didn't look that busy). Other than that, everything was great! We will definitely be back there.More

Date of visit: October 2019
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Reviewed February 5, 2019

First off, don't be in a hurry to eat here as the service is a bit slow but it is well worth it as the food is excellent!!! Visited for the first time a couple of weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised. I will definitely...return!More

Date of visit: January 2019
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Reviewed January 26, 2019

Having dined at Mara's a number of times before and enjoyed it, I was shocked when we walked in at 630 and not a table was taken. That might scare some people, but not us - why don't more people go here??? Living out of...the area for years I only get to go here every other month or so when I visit, but each time the food is great. It isn't really hard to get to and while South Amboy isn't exactly the dining capital of NJ (it has most bars per sq mile!), I advise any and all to make the trip. The menu is good and they always offer a number of interesting specials (3 appetizer specials and 6 entree specials last night). Service is friendly and offers bottled or tap water; bread service offers herbed butter and tomato bruschetta on toast for each diner, always a nice touch. We each had wine, an Italian Pinot Grigio for my mother and John Mitchell Cabernet for me. Both were very good. Appetizers like the Tuna Tartare are delicious and the presentation perfect; last night as one of the appetizer specials they had bourbon brown sugar bacon/pork belly slices that rivaled the bacon you get at the NYC steakhouses like Benjamin, Mastros or Wolfgangs. The 4 pieces were delightfully crispy outside/chewy inside and I almost ordered another to go! In the past we have had the Little Neck Clams and the Calamari and both were great. Dinners we had the Sesame Tuna and Rack of Lamb. Both were perfectly cooked medium rare and as with each dish accompanied by their house potatoes and vegetables. The potatoes are one of my favorite reasons for going here - chunks of potato with skin on, roasted crispy on the outside and tender inside with a garlic herb coating. The vegetables were a mix of large asparagus, broccoli, french green beans and a large carrot - all were perfectly cooked. I can't tell you how many places screw up vegetables, especially carrots (undercooked or way overcooked) and broccoli (overcooked), but after tasting each I ripped through all the vegetables before even touching the lamb. The portions of everything were generous and we each took half our main course home (mine has no veggies, of course!). All in all another wonderful meal at Mara's. I live in Syracuse, NY and only get down to visit my mother every month or so and we always try to get here. The bill with 2 appetizers (clams and bacon), 3 wines and two entrees was $123. The Groupon saved a little bit, but we have come several times without the Groupon as well. It is well worth it!!More

Date of visit: January 2019
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Reviewed September 23, 2018

This was the first time we tried this venue with this management, as chef Michael, who also owns it, acquired it about 5 years ago. The atmosphere is gorgeous,and the service efficient without being intrusive. They had changed to entrance to the far left side,...but once we got in, and were standing at the bar, someone was there to accommodate us. We were given a choice of tables, which was nice. One slight problem we had was that there were extensive "specials" that were not on the printed menu. Although our server had them memorized, he did not say the prices, and there were so many, it was hard to remember what he said about appetizers by the time he was on entrees. A simple typed up specials menu would really have been appreciated. A bit on the pricey side, as soup was $10 and salad was $14, entrees in the 20s and 30s. House wine at $7 was fine. Bread is brought to the table immediately, including a couple with bruscetta. So tasty! The soup of the day was a chicken consomme with fresh vegetables, but was so salty it was almost inedible. We did not complain, just added water. Everything else was flawless: the salad with berries and goat cheese was great. The spicy shrimp was not as hot as we thought it would be, but superb nonetheless. Baked flounder with crab meat on top was delicious. Fresh veggies on the side were perfectly done. The hit of the night was the potato side dish! Bill was $136 without tip, for 2 with wine. So we will save this for a special occasion, but it's nice to know it is there and it is worth it.More

Date of visit: September 2018
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Reviewed August 31, 2018 via mobile

One of my favorite restaurants. Food is so delicious, fish is fresh and prepared perfectly. In addition, the staff is knowledgeable and friendly. Romantic atmosphere. Lovely piano music on Friday evening. You’ll leave with a smile on your face.

Date of visit: September 2018
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Reviewed July 9, 2018 via mobile

Mara’s has been a favorite of mine for the last few years. Michael, the head chef and owner, prepares outstanding meals served in quiet romantic setting. The servers are polite and well trained. Definitely a must go if you are in the area.

Date of visit: June 2018
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Reviewed May 20, 2018 via mobile

Came back this Saturday after a phenomenal meal last Friday. Has the pleasure of meeting Jennifer. Great bartender and wife of the chef. Told us all about the restaurant. Had my onion soup. Excellent. Had the steak special. Cooked to perfection. Friends had the chicken....Great reviews. This place gets better and better. JENNIFER told us they have great hamburgers. Will be back this week or next to try it out.More

Date of visit: May 2018
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