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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 | http://www.marea-nyc.com

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