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The Best Thing I Ate This Week – Marea's Gnocchetti

Marea's spring pasta.jpgHow much do I love Marea?  Let me count the ways… brodetto di pesce, lobster with burrata and eggplant, langoustines a la plancha, fusilli with red wine-braised octopus and bone marrow, spaghetti with crab, urchin, and breadcrumbs.  I could on and on.  With Marea, Michael White’s proved he’s just as good at pasta as he is at delicate crudos. I’d eat there once a week if I could afford it, but Marea’s more of a splurge or special occasion spot than a regular hangout.

This time around I discovered several dishes I’d never tried before, including an amazingly tender grilled octopus ingeniously paired with smoked potatoes, pickled onion and tonnato as well as grilled cuttlefish (eyes & all) served whole over a livornese sauce.  But the best thing I ate that night was a beautiful bowl of pillowy gnocchetti mingled with ruby red shrimp, rosemary over a controne bean puree.  In the wrong hands, gnocchi can be heavy and leaden, or even worse, overcooked and mushy.  But Marea’s gnocchetti was blissfully light, served in a vibrant sauce with just barely cooked shrimp, so you could taste just how fresh the crustaceans were. Some restaurants go on auto-pilot or even lose their edge. Marea thankfully just keeps getting better. 

Address: 240 Central Park South, nr Broadway
Phone: (212)582-5100

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