Marea, The New York Institution, Opens The Doors To A Restaurant In Dubai
A visit to Marea once meant hopping on a (maybe) 14-hour flight, arriving groggy and jetlagged to JFK, and shuffling into the legendary two Michelin-starred New York haunt an emotionally shattered version of ourselves.
Well, no more. Those Michael White-created menus are now, for Dubai residents, only a visit to DIFC away, creating a place that is understated in a confident kind of way. This is the kind of joint that doesn’t feel the need to brag about itself because, well, a decade of NYC approval will give you that gift.
For the uninitiated, Marea is an ambitious and tremendous collision of Italian flavours, highlighted by an utter mastery of seafood. This Dubai outpost seems to take the very best of that New York DNA – uncompromising service, crisp tables and elegant layout – while doing away with the inconveniences that come alongside a Central Park-adjacent address.
Add to that an exceptional private dining space, that allows you to sample that exceptional seafood, and you’ve got something very special on your hands. The dining room comes, of course, with the option of a menu designed for you and your guests.
We highly recommend the Italian Business Lunch menu, available daily from midday until 12pm, and are huge fans of the Jazz After Dark nights every Wedensday, ideal for music enthusiasts to indulge in Marea's finest dishes as the delightful vocalist and music producer Claudia Patrice performs her live, soulful sounds.
Stuck for ideas? Start with the crudo – the chef’s selection of raw fish is inventive and perfectly stimulates the beginning of your experience. From there, an off-the-charts selection of pasta dishes are yours to select from, and devour. If you hold serve, perhaps delving into shellfish for your primi, you’ll be well-prepared for a main dish that will put you into a territory of dizzying happiness.
To be clear, nothing about this iteration of Marea screams “informal” or “laid back” – it’s not a flash-in-the-pan, Instagram kind of cool. Instead, it doubles-down on what makes an icon iconic: that reliable kind of ambiance, the dim lighting, the discreet staff, the pockets of privacy made for memorable conversation and hushed giggles. It has a simmering kind of energy, one that gains heat through the day from its incredible lunctime service (ideal for a business lunch) before building like a crescendo late into the evening.
At their best, restaurants can become about more than a meal: more than three courses, coffee and a bill. Marea is one of those restaurants. Much like its New York sister, this, immediately, feels like a place to see and be seen, to close deals, to make hearts melt. It comes down to this: When a big moment presents itself, we’d say that Marea is always a good answer.