Marea - known for it's delicious Italian-seafood dishes - is normally one of those restaurants that a surgical resident's salary can't support on a regular basis.
Luckily, they offer a "business lunch" that's a pretty decent deal: $45 for an appetizer and entree - similar to a prix fix but minus the dessert.
Jenn, Dave, and I headed over to Central Park South on day 2 of our NYC vacation, prior to their planned romp in the park.
For appetizers, Dave got a mix from the raw bar:
Tonno: bigeye tuna, oyster crema, and crispy artichoke garnish
Dentice: pacific snapper, mandarin orange, pistachio, and carrot vinaigrette
Seppia: cuttlefish tagliatelle, soffrito crudo (minced raw vegetables), bottarga di muggine (roe pouch of tuna or grey mullet = also known at poor man's cavaiar)
Jenn ordered the Sgombro: Pacific jack mackerel, wild mushroom vinaigrette, and parsley
My appetizer was the bigeye tuna tartare with watercress and potato crisp. Not the best tartare I've ever had - a bit too salty - and the potato crisp had an odd bitter after-taste
For entree Jenn opted for the Fusilli: durum wheat pasta, red wine braised octopus, and bone marrow. The pasta literally had large cubes of delicious bone marrow mixed in with the octopus, and by far she had the most decadent dish
Dave ordered the Spaghetti: with crab, Santa Barbara sea urchin, and garnished with basil
I made the choice of Garganelli: squid ink pasta quills, seppia ragu, butternut squash, and pecorino. Although mildly grotesque-looking, my dish was actually pretty good. As compared to what the others ordered, my pasta was quite light and mild in flavor
In the end Dave and Jenn enjoyed their lunch more than I did - probably because they made better selections from the menu, but I could also appreciate that the pasta was well prepared and with high-quality ingredients. Definitely worth another visit
Overall rating: 7.5/10
240 Central Park South
New York, NY 10019