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Lunch at Marea: A Little Holiday Treat

December 30, 2012

The holiday season got us all in a cheerful mood to celebrate so a few of us decided to treat ourselves to a nice holiday lunch.  The elegant Marea on the southwest corner of Central Park seemed perfect.


The dining room at Marea was quietly busy as always and elegant with its crisp white table cloth and beautiful center pieces of orchids.  I sank into the plush leather chairs, pulled out by the  maitre’d and eagerly opened up the menu to peruse the prixe fix menu offered for lunch.


The server came by right away with a platter of three breads, a seven grain, a sourdough and a focaccia studded with olives.  I tried to be healthy with the seven grain but was easily swayed by the savory pillowy focaccia.



The prixe fix lunch option at Marea offered a choice of a crudo or antipasto and then a choice of pasta or secondo.  For those in the lighter mood, the crudo or the big eye tuna tartare would be perfect.  I was in a decadent mood that day so I chose to start my lunch with the grilled octopus with smoked potatoes, pickled onion, chilies and tonnato.  This was a rich dish and I enjoyed every single bite, the tenderness of the octopus, the smokiness of the potatoes, and the tangy bite of the onions.



And for the main course, there is no need to look further than the pasta section, something that Michael White is so well known for.  I absolutely adore Marea’s spaghetti with sea urchin and crab and the fusilli with octopus and bone marrow is a close second.  The house made spaghetti was cooked to the perfect al dente and tossed with a light yet unctuous sea urchin tomato sauce, studded with crab.  The fusilli was a much richer dish with the meaty octopus and the buttery bone marrow.  The portions here are generous but it was easy to finish every last bite.


We were too full from the pastas so no dessert that day.  A little plate of sweets and chocolates that came with our check that day included grapefruit pate de fruit, chocolate caramels and little sea salt chocolate tarts.  These were a perfect finish to this indulgent holiday lunch that we so eagerly treated ourselves.  Now onto more merriment and holiday cheers!

Marea | 240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019 |

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