Michelin Star restaurants are a hit or miss, but I’m always intrigued by what makes them so special, so I make it a point every now and again to go visit some. On this restaurant journey, I went to visit Marea. A Two-Star Michelin Star restaurant located near Central Park in New York City. I’ve been to a One and Three Michelin Star restaurant, but never a two. Marea tends to be a very busy place, so getting reservations to eat there, may not be the easiest. I lucked up and got reservations for lunch, which wasn’t a big difference from the things I would’ve considered ordering on the dinner menu. I felt a bit under-dressed when I stepped into the restaurant. Usually, I’ll have on a blazer or something business casual, but during this visit, I had on jeans and a sweatshirt. I felt a little more comfortable knowing it was lunch and not dinner, because the interior of this restaurant looks absolutely amazing. White table cloths (that are replaced every time a new patron sits down), hard wood floors, and attention to detail in service.
I was able to order two pasta dishes because that’s what Marea is known for. I went for the Fusilli and Tagliolini as my options for lunch. I’ll start with the Fusilli. It consisted of durum wheat pasta, red wine braised octopus, and bone marrow. I’ve never had bone marrow in pasta before, so I found this concept to be pretty interesting. The bone marrow had a slight fatty taste, but was still flavorful. The pasta was al-dente, just the way I like it. Al Dente is meant for a firm bite, and it worked well with the soft taste of the Octopus. The Octopus didn’t over power the dish, and the tomato sauce wasn’t too soupy. The dish was invited with bread crumbs on top, but I didn’t understand why. The overall dish doesn’t need crunchiness to it when you have a firm texture with the pasta. I truly believe adding bread crumbs to a pasta dish is a waste of time. It’s as asinine as a start-up chef adding parsley to his or her meals.
The next dish that was ordered was the Tagliolini. It consisted of manila clams, calamari, and pepperoncino. The pasta was cooked and finished off with garlic and olive oil. I don’t believe any butter was used in this dish because I tasted little salt if any at all. The calamari and manila clams were cooked perfectly, and as an addition to this dish there was some octopus added. I love octopus and the way the meats were sauteed in this dish was perfect. I’m sure the chef cooked the seafood then added the pasta and finished it off with some garlic and olive oil. This dish wasn’t too heavy, it wasn’t too light, it was perfect.
Overall, this restaurant is a go-to. It deserved the 2 Michelin Stars that it has earned. I only went for lunch but had a great experience. The service was fantastic, the food was astounding, and the ambiance was impeccable.
OVERALL RATING : FIRST CLASS EXPERIENCE