In a commoditized world of steakhouses, Carne Mare brings the special occasion of going out to one back to life. Now, it’s taking on the NYC brunch scene.
Andrew Carmellini of NoHo Hospitality Group (Locanda Verde, Westlight) has made a splash in the Seaport District with his take on an Italian Chophouse. At Carne Mare, you’ll feel the old-school vibe of a classic steakhouse, but with an inviting warmth as you walk in and are greeted by the aromas of freshly baked bread and the smiles of the friendly staff. Carne Mare is home to the much talked about Gorgonzola-cured Wagyu and Roasted Duck d’Ivan (both are must-orders). The former, penetrated by the subtle, buttery funk of gorgonzola, only gets better with each bite. The latter, a robust and tender duck, crisped and glazed with a tangy, sweet sauce consisting of apple, pear and plum laced with spice. Shoutout to the team for the accompanying near-perfect fried potato wedges and side of mushroom marsala.
Building on the success of their dinner offerings, Carne Mare’s recently launched brunch menu is making a name for itself. Here they present a more mature alternative to your typical NYC boozy brunch. Tableside drink service offers fresh juices and organic nectars, which while certainly Instagrammable, is a more refined and tastier option for those looking to get their weekend morning buzz on.
After you’ve activated your palate and appetite with some bubbles, you might start with the tuna tartare – simple with fresh notes of lemon, and an unexpectedly delightful umami flavor, courtesy of the shaved bottarga. Per the recommendation of Antonio (our awesome waiter), we really enjoyed the soft scramble crostino. Melt-in-your-mouth, chive seasoned eggs nestled on a buttered sourdough with goat cheese, and topped with prosciutto, arugula and a generous amount of parmesan cheese. Rarely do we think “those eggs slapped,” but here we are.
We moved on to a shaved prime rib sandwich, imbued with what we likened to a concentrated beef au jus with porcini mushroom paste. Though we thought the potato chips layered in added a nice crunch, it would have been interesting to see how a crispier bread, rather than brioche, would have cut through the fattiness of the meat. Shifting gears from savory, we were excited to try the Italian chef’s take on french toast. Soaked in rum and spices, layered with orange-vanilla infused ricotta and finished with three types of fresh oranges and a blood orange gastrique, those with a sweet tooth and an affinity for citrus will enjoy this take on a classic brunch dish.
To round out our meal, we indulged in a slice of 17-layer chocolate cake, which pays homage to the restaurant’s home on Pier 17. Rich but not sugary, this crowd-pleaser will send you home happy. We’ll have to come back and try the straciatella gelato.
In an area of the city that was once bustling but is now considered an afterthought to many, Carne Mare is a good omen of the hopeful resurgence of the Seaport District. After your meal, don’t forget to take in the beautiful views of the Brooklyn Bridge, cobblestone streets and romantic waterside lookouts.
Special shoutout to Danielle Stuckey for serving up the good stuff and giving us an inside look into the thoughts behind the dishes.
Courtesy of Contributor George Blesson, IG @george_blesson