Sunday, March 23, 2014

Chef Michael White’s MAREA Exceeds Expectations

I mean, I knew it would be good. I just didn’t realize how good. Let's start with the experience. Chef Michael White's Marea is located on Central Park South. Very swank. I actually heard the ambiance was a little stuffy. I'm assuming due to the area but we didn't find this to be the case at all. The decor is lovely and there was a nice variety of people dining. The tables are large and the dining room had tons of space between tables. For those of you who have never dined in Manhattan, trust me when I say this is a huge deal. There are some restaurants in NYC where you're literally sitting on top of some person you've never met and the tables are so close you may as well share your food.

We went with one of our favorite foodie couples as we knew they'd appreciate the experience and be ok with what we knew was going to be a steep bill. The menu is simple with many yummy offerings. We opted for the 4 course prix-fixe option for $99 per person. I loved the prix-fixe as you get to pick from the entire menu. We all selected different items so we could maximize our culinary experience. First, we needed some vino. Our sommelier, Alexander was great and extremely knowledgeable. Our server, Mark, was amazing. He actually did seem a bit stiff at first but we had him joking and smiling within minutes. He was a blast and made very on-point recommendations (the Gnochetti with Ruby Red Shrimp...OMG). Other menu favorites were the Scampi (succulent Langoustines), and THE PASTAS. Chef White is a pasta genius. You will not go wrong with any of them. The Scallops and the Duck entrees were superb. Ryan and I know good duck. We've had the best of the best from The Four Seasons to Phillip Chow and quite frankly, this was the best of the best. We of course saved room for a little dessert and they were good but the pastas and main courses stole the show.

This is an extremely hard table to get in NYC so plan way in advance. Also prepare to be there for a while, especially if you do the tasting menu. The service is wonderful but it's an experience. I believe we were at the table for about 3 hours and loved every minute of it. We'll definitely be back.

Now please enjoy the following food porn...

My Tonno aka Tuna Crudo. Pretty good. 
The tuna was very fresh but I found this dish to be a bit bland.
I'll get something different on my next visit. 

Truffle Tagliatelle. Amazing.

Their signature Fusilli with Bone Marrow. Delish! A def must try. 

My insanely good scallops. Every component I felt was perfection.

Roasted Long Island Duck. Literally the best in NYC.


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