An upscale seafood spot near Central Park

120 Tables

Chef Michael White is seemingly everywhere these days. At the upscale, seafood-focused Marea, he took a big gamble, opening up the unapologetically fine-dining spot (with prices to match) during the economic downturn. It seems he has another hit on his hands.

Located right at the base of Central Park, this modern eatery aims to do for seafood what chef White has done for pasta — in short, elevate it to new heights. Where he seemingly does this best is in many of the fresh, whole fish options priced by the pound and simply adorned with olive oil and salt.

Regardless of whether you go with the pasta, seafood or the well-edited selection of land animals, don’t miss the first course of sea urchin spread on crispy toast with lardo or pork fat to enhance the already over-the-top dish. While the dining room is elegant with sea shells dipped in silver, plan your visit to begin with a drink at the gorgeous, back-lit European honey onyx-backed bar and start with a plate of the signature crudo.