NYC Restaurants

Marbella
162 East 33rd St
New York, NY, 10016
212-725-4499
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Cuisine: Tapas/Small Plates , Spanish

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Cititour Review:
With the number of tapas bars, lounges, and restaurants dotting Manhattan these days, one could think you’ve been transported to Barcelona. And there’s a decided appeal in menus that allow you to do everything from nibble to chow down until you explode.
Marbella, a stylish midtown eatery, encompasses both options and everything in between thanks to an extensive selection of tapas and a well-chosen array of entrees.

No matter what you’re planning to eat, you’ll be happy to begin the evening with a glass (or pitcher) of authentic sangria, available in both the red or white variety. They’re not overly sweet or overly strong, allowing you to enjoy your food. Marbella offers approximately a dozen cold tapas selection and over 20 hot ones ($7-$15). Of the six we tried, top honors went to room temperature rounds of grilled calamari stuffed with chorizo and accompanied by a chunky olive-almond vinaigrette, and nicely grilled pieces of octopus, beautifully presented with cherry tomatoes, olives, potatoes, and onions tossed in a nicely balanced vinaigrette. Cold green and white asparagus drizzled with aioli was quite pleasant and the rabbit-mushroom casserole is worth ordering just for the rich wine sauce. On the down side, potato salad with crabmeat was made with too much mayonnaise and a pair of beef skewers, though flavorful, was slightly overcooked.

Many of the entrees sounded enticing, but after some back-and-forth, we chose the grilled salmon and the roasted duck breast. The fish was perfectly cooked and a drizzle of almond-tarragon further enhanced its deliciousness; it sat atop a large mound of saffron rice, which was somewhat sticky and fishy tasting. The duck breast was tasty on its own, but it was practically smothered in a truly wonderful fig-and-port wine sauce that made every bite a sensation.

We were half-tempted to skip dessert, which would have been a terrible mistake. The orange crème Catalan – the Spanish version of crème brulee – was perfection, thanks to a properly burnt sugar crust and a deep citrus flavor. Sliced poached pear in an intense sherry was equally ambrosial.

Marbella reportedly offers live music most nights, ranging from jazz to Flamenco, but no entertainment had begun by 8pm on our Monday night visit. When it does happen, I’m sure it adds to the Mediterranean experience.
Review By: Brian Scott Lipton

Details:

Neighborhood: East 30s

Entree Price: $20-25

Payment: Accepts Credit Cards


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