Oh New York… so many dining options, so little time. On this trip, we decided that we weren’t going to break the bank, so other than lunch at Jean Georges, that meant no 3 Michelin stars. But maybe I could find a good 1 star? I had heard some fantastic things about Marea, with its newly appointed 1 Michelin star but the earliest reservation I could get was at 9:45pm. I was worried that my stomach wouldn’t be able to hold out until then, so at the last moment I booked a 8:15 reservation at A Voce Columbus. The great thing was that both restaurants were within a few blocks of our hotel.
We decided that we’d tell our server at A Voce in advance that we had somewhere else to go and we were only going to eat a few dishes. What we didn’t count on was that so many things on the menu would call to us. I was disappointed when I found out their signature pork belly was sold out for the evening, but everything else was so delicious it somewhat made up for that.
Knowing that we had another restaurant ahead, I knew we had over-ordered and it’s probably the first time anyone’s ever hoped the portion sizes were going to be small. I was somewhat hopeful when the first plate arrived.
I knew we were doomed when the next 2 were placed on the table. It didn’t help we chose items with so much cheese, but they were delicious and I wouldn’t have had it any other way!
Already full from meal #1, we made our way across Columbus Circle to Marea. When we walked in, I was taken by the fact the room was completely opposite from the loud and crowded A Voce. Although the restaurant was busy, the space allowed for a much more intimate dining experience.
The other thing that I was amazed with was that the service was much more attentive here. An amuse bouche was quickly delivered to our table.
Seeing as we were pretty much full from our first meal, we stuck to the small plate side of the menu.
Since they are known for their crudos we ordered their trio so we could get small tastes of more things.
We asked for the server’s suggestions and he led us to choose items that weren’t the “regular” tuna or salmon.
Ben’s not usually an oyster guy, so although I had no thoughts of ordering raw oysters, when he suggested it I didn’t want to say no.
We were then served what looked like 2 Altoids. I was thinking that it was too early for our after dinner mint, because we had 1 more dish to come. Then the food runner came and poured some boiling water of the top of them and we watched them expand.
Completely full by this point, we had no room for dessert. But there’s always room for chocolates.
We ended our fantastic evening out with a nightcap at Dizzy’s Cola Bar, which also happens to be right next to our hotel. Although I’m not one to recommend “must do’s” on anyone’s trips, I would say checking out an after-hours set here is one. They’re having a summer special right now too, so for $5 cover you get to sit in one of the best sounding rooms I’ve ever been in overlooking Central Park.
A Voce Columbus : Time Warner Center 3rd Floor, 10 Columbus Circle
Marea – 240 Central Park South
Jazz at Licoln Center – Dizzy’s Cola Club : Time Warner Center 5th Floor – 33 West 60th St