I've been gorging on end-of-year foodie lists, reading Serious Eats, Eater, and a host of other blogs, getting their take on the decade of food. (Our food writers put together their own list for this week's paper, and the Post and Courier got in on it today, publishing a year-in-food story.)
Reading all this stuff, I've learned that NYC is obsessed with hamburgers and hot dogs, the Brits are weary of molecular gastronomy and gastropubs, and Marea in NYC is home to one of the most sublime dishes of the year. And it's this last bit that excites me the most. You see, when Charleston Wine + Food tickets first went on sale, I bought two to Ken Vedrinski's Dine Around, even though his new restaurant Introdaqua wasn't built yet, and the guest chef had not even been announced. It was a gamble I'm glad I took. A week or so later, Vedrinski unveiled his guest: Executive Chef Michael White of Convivio, Alto, and Marea.
Marea is one of the hottest new restaurants in NYC, receiving three stars from NY Times and one from Michelin. It's where White focuses on Italian seafood preparations, much like Vedrinski will at Introdaqua when it opens soon (fingers crossed).
On one end-of-the-year list I read, Marea showed up several times. Thomas Keller (French Laundry, Per Se) said the most sublime dish he'd eaten all year came from Marea. NY Times critic Sam Sifton highlights the same dish in his own list, and now I'm obsessed with getting a taste of White's fusilli with red-wine braised octopus and bone marrow. Sifton describes this as a "loving marriage between separate species," and all I can say is I hope White cooks it up for us in March, cause my budget can't handle a foodie trip to NYC anytime soon. And I'm pretty sure if I tackled it myself (following the recipe on Serious Eats) my results would be far from sublime.