I Ziggy the II, bite my nails! I dont do it because I’m often nervous, gamble, or watch “The Bachelor” a lot. Its just a habit I developed as a child that never really went away. And after reading a report
on Twitter by a reliable source that, get this, people who bite their nails tend to have a stronger immune system & rarely get sick, I’m not stopping any time soon. I may even offer to bite other people’s nails if they suffer from this fetish. I do very rarely get sick. I also have this thing where I need to lick my fingers before using a napkin, no matter who I’m eating with, and where I am. Using napkins on saucy fingers just feels very wrong. I may have been also a tiny little bit stinky before this particular meal, after a 4 hour walking tour of Hell’s Kitchen I was conducting right before the meal. Not to mention the bike run to Tribeca for Nish Nush Falafel for lunch.
So here I was…slightly stinky, tehina smelling, unmanicured fingers, on our anniversary dinner at the oil tycoon section of 2 Michelin Star Marea. Being surrounded by big glamour, and wealth I felt as comfortable as watching a Cialis commercial with the kids. But,
after 2 drinks it didn’t take long until we settled down and enjoyed another fine meal at one of New York’s finest. By the way, I did shave for this one. I’m not an animal!
Crudo trio – Pretty forgettable overall. Exhibit A: I don’t remember much of it. Tried the razor clams, langoustine, and snapper. The snapper (Dentice) had the most flavor, and the Razor Clams not nearly as good as little sister Costata.
Astice – I was totally wowed by this a few years ago, but not this time. This dish if you recall won a spot at the ultra coveted EatingWithZiggy Best dishes of 2012. This time I felt the supporting cast.. the basil seeds and eggplant forgot their lines and stumbled on their faces. All I was tasting was the lobster and your average burrata. Nevertheless it was still far from terrible, and a dish I recommend targeting for first timers. After the initial impression I was just expecting way too much
Octopus – (above) Outstanding! Some of the most tender, flavorful octopus I’ve ever had. Loved the accompanying smoky potatoes and the salad (onions, radish, chilies). I twitted this dish after the meal and a response from Marea followed saying this was on the menu from day one
3rd Course – Both half portions:
Agnolotti – (half portion) Stuffed with milk braised veal these pillowy ravioli simply exploded with flavor as properly made Agnolotti should. Enjoyed this one a lot even though I was disappointing by the little tiny cube thingies they call “Porcini”. We are from the amazing Porcini we had in Siena
Strozzapreti with Crab and uni – (half portion) One of their classics which they mistakenly excluded from the online menu at the time of this dinner. So if you don’t see it on the online menu, don’t believe it. Perfectly al dented, chewy “Priest Stranglers” with the Uni dominating in a very good way. The sauce seems a little different this time around than two years ago but still quite lovely
Fusilli (full portion) – Of course I had to have this again. This is one of the most celebrated pasta dishes in town and I may have enjoyed it even more now. Generous amount of octopus, perfectly cooked Fusilli but the red sauce with the bone marrow is as addictive as red sauce can be. A joy with every scoop
Halibut – I wasnt too sure about this one. I mean its a freakin halibut (firm, mild, dries quickly), and very often for us after all those rich primis, fish just doesnt deliver much. This one did! Halibut cooked nicely, not too dry, but what made the dish was the Fregola Sarda, little bubbly Israeli couscous-like pasta. With a little pleasant heat the pasta worked very well with the mild fish.
Aria Mascarpone – very good sponge cake with pistachio cream and an excellent robiolina (cheese) gelato. After two meals and having some of the their most popular items like the Bombolonis I still dont have a solid dessert recommendation. But, cant recommend Marea highly enough. Just make sure to shower
240 Central Park S
Recommended Dishes: Astice, Octopus, Agnolotti, Strozzapreti, Fusilli, Halibut