Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This year, I’m grateful for great friendships that span across the US and different continents. Despite all the time that’s passed, we always make the effort to meet up, enjoy each other’s company and to share old memories as well as create new ones.
On two separate occasions this year, I had the pleasure of going to Marea with a few visiting friends. You see, our good friend Chef Tony recently became the Pastry Chef there, while staying in the Altamarea family after his time at Ai Fiori. Congrats again Tony!
So you know what that means…
I honestly don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but the desserts at Marea are just phenomenal, well balanced, not overly sweet and always visually stunning. And if you think I’m being biased, I gave the same review of their desserts 2 years ago, long before Tony became the Pastry Chef there.
Here’s what was on the menu for our most recent trip in November, don’t worry, I shared these with 5 other people…
|BUDINO DI PIGNOLI – white chocolate pinenut crema, lavender, cassis, apricot sobertto|
|SEMIFREDDO DI NOCCIOLA – piedmont hazelnut, dark chocolate, grapefruit, anise mascarpone|
|PANNA COTTA – vanilla panna cotta, local white grape granita, amaretti, fennel|
|MACEDONIA – assorted apples, pomegranate, brown butter, quince sorbetto|
|STRATI DI CIOCCOLATO – dark chocolate crema, salted caramel, pistachio gelato|
|BOMBOLONI – doughnuts, rosemary, chocolate sauce, spiced honey | AFFOGATO – vanilla gelato, aspresso & amaro|
Yes, we were very spoiled and each had one dessert to eat by ourselves. My favorites out of the bunch include the Vanilla Panna Cotta because it’s so creamy and not too sweet. The Macedonia is light with a great mixture of different fruits. The Bomboloni is great if you like doughnuts as it’s fried perfectly and fluffy in the middle. And of course, Marea makes a mean Affogato.
So excited to see where Chef takes the desserts here. The girlfriend informs me that the Pear Tart is new on the menu currently and is also great.
Moving past dessert back to the other food for the evening… one of the best things I discovered at Marea is the Ricci, sea urchin on toast and topped with lardo. This is one of the best bites that you can get. While some say the lardo distracts from the pure flavors of the uni, I say a bite of the Ricci is just heavenly.
|HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – Ricci, sea urchin and lardo on toast|
Rich, smooth and savory, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Crudo al Taglio – Sliced Raw Fish and Shellfish
Marea is known for seafood, and the crudo there is worth trying. Personal favorites are the razor clams and bigeye tuna.
|(From left to right): CANNOLICCHI – marinated razor clams, baby fennel, peperoncino
MACCARELLO – pacific horse mackeral, kale, radish, pickled beech mushroom
PESCE CORNO – pacific cornetfish, cherries, romesco, marcona almonds
|(From top to bottom): TONNO – bigeye tuna, oyster crema, crispy sunchokes
SCAMPI – pacific langoustine, murray river pink salt
PESCE CORNO – cornet fish, pine nuts, grapefruit, cranberry
Anitpasti – Seasonal Appetizers
|POLIPO – grilled octopus, smoked potatoes, pickled red onions, radish, chilies, tonnato|
|ASTICE – nova scotia lobster, burrata, eggplant al funghetto, basil|
|GAMERO ROSSO – mediterranean red prawn, asparagus, ricotta, pancetta mollica|
|MOLECHE – hazelnut crusted softshell crab, cippolini onion, apricots, purslane|
Pasta Fatta in Casa
Now to my second favorite part of eating at Marea, their pastas. Michael White is a pasta genius and I can just eat these all day long. Their pasta is made by hand in the restaurant. They are most known for their Fusilli with braised octopus and bone marrow. The perfectly al dente fusilli has nooks that hold onto the rich tomato sauce perfectly. Seriously, Nom x10.
|(From left to right): AGNOLOTTI – braised spring lamb, artichoke, parmigiano, perserved lemon
FUSILLI – red wine braised octopus, bone marrow
I RISOTTI MARE – lobster, halibut fin, sea urchin
|(From top left, clockwise): GNOCHETTI – ruby red shrimp, chillies, rosemary, I RISOTTI MARE, FUSILLI, AGNOLOTTI – piemontese meat ravioli, veal sweetbreads, wild mushrooms , brown butter|
Cheese Course & More Desserts!
To round this update up, I’ll wrap things up with a few more desserts…
|A Birthday SEMIFREDDO for Steezy 🙂|
|PANNA COTTA – pistacchio panna cotta, raspberry, rhubarb-rose granita|
Thanks again to Tony for being an amazing pastry chef and for helping me develop a sweet tooth.