My wife and I finally went to Marea for dinner. My report follows. I planned on bringing a bottle of champagne, but left it home. FYI, corkage is $50. I asked the Somm for a recommendation after we told him what we planned on ordering. I liked the idea of a Muscadet, but the Somm said they were on the rich side for our selection. The wine 09 Monte Di Grazia Bianco Campania. This was golden in color with some minerals and a hint of lemon. I'm told this wine is only sold at Balthazar. YMMV. My wife and I were pleased for $57. Marea has 3 Somms + a Wine Director. Marea is on Central Park South, just off the corner of Broadway and Columbus Circle. You walk into a very elegant place. Dark woods and beige colorations are easy on the eyes. Bar on the left is classy and elegant. Dining room is on the right and L shaped. Service is to the 9's (for those of you that have never been here). To Begin From the chef, a tasting of smoked trout that looked more like a bite sized piece of sushi grade salmon. Yum. Just a taste: PANZEROTTI smoked eggplant, ricotta, bottarga. Served like a bite size pizza puff that you'd give your kids. Something to get us in the mood. My wife hasn't seen the menu or this thread, so she ordered the Ricciola. I don't recall the name of the fish on the menu, but it looked/tasted like ever-so-warm yellowtail. Prepared slightly cooked. This was 4, what I would consider healthy sized pieces. I ordered the Branzino Crudo. 4 slight and delicate pieces of bite (sushi) sized fish topped with cavier. The nod goes to the Ricciola, but you can't go wrong with the branzino. After we sat down, I overheard a patron 2 tables away telling the waiter that his father-in-law recommended the Fusilli. That reminded me of the Yogi Berra story when he told people "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." Hmmm, maybe I should order something else. But on second thought... I ordered the FUSILLI red wine braised octopus, bone marrow. The portion was bigger then I expected. Perfectly prepared pasta, with soft, moist and tender octopus (and they don't skimp on the octopus). If you've eaten this before, you know that it was mindblowing. Oh man. This was delicious. It certainly lived up to all the hype. But a step up from this... the San Pietro New Zealand John Dory. Not once do I recall reading about this. Prepared perfectly, this had a slight crunch when you bit down on the fish. A slight nod to the John Dory over the Fusilli. Talk about a taste sensation. We decided to share a dessert of 2 scoops of ice cream (vanilla and hazelnut), and 1 scoop of Meyer lemon sherbet. My uncle had a Meyer lemon tree, and the sherbet tasted as fresh as the juice from that tree. When we head back, we're each getting our own dessert. Cost for 2 = $250. FYI, I did use my BA card and will get a $50 discount.