The Skinny: This was the restaurant that most of us were positive Frank Bruni would review before he left. The Brunz fawned over Italian restaurants in general, and none more so than Cannon & White’s two other places, Alto and Convivio, both of which received three stars. His reasons for taking a pass on Marea were never satisfactorily explained, but we believe he wasn’t quite sold on the place, but couldn’t bring himself to drop the hammer.
If Bruni was ambivalent, we can certainly understand his reasons. We were not impressed when we visited in June. In New York, Adam Platt was unhappy, but awarded three stars anyway, prompting an angry outburst from Michael White’s BFF, Josh Ozersky. Ryan Sutton in Bloomberg awarded four stars. Alan Richman in GQ doesn’t do stars, but if he did, said he’d award four, as well.
Notwithstanding our doubts, there seems to be a clear consensus for at least three stars. Besides, if DBGB is a two-star restaurant (as Sifton claimed it was a week ago), how could Marea get the same? Although Ozersky lobbied hard for a four-star review, we are assuming that Sifton isn’t that crazy.
The Bet: We agree with Eater’s Ben Leventhal that Sam Sifton will award three stars to Marea.