It takes a lot for any sort of restaurant to be called “one of a kind” nowadays, as it seems like so many spots tend to copy off one another or there are too many similarities that could offset any place for being truly unique. Acqua Restaurant, however, can hold that notion of being one of a kind as they are the only seafood spot in Manhattan where you can enjoy raw seafood and fish imported directly from Italy daily.
Acqua Restaurant is located on Peck Slip in the heart of the trendy and always fun to travel to South Street Seaport. Prior to finding out about Acqua, I didn’t even realize that Peck Slip was an actual street (I do now, of course), as its part of a beautiful area of Manhattan that I wish people would visit more often. Especially for the food, which Acqua excels in completely.
The location is moderately sized, with a sprawling and gorgeous bar to your left upon your arrival. Similar to other Italian places that I have dined in, Acqua has a romantic and intimate aesthetic that really makes the whole place gel. It was a packed Friday night there, and an arrangement of people looked thrilled to be dining on their authentic cuisines, from large parties to a family of three and of course the couple’s who were enjoying a date night out, Acqua looked to be the place to be on a cold winter evening.
The brain behind the incredible menu at Acqua is none other than Chef Giuseppe Marrone, who has worked with some of the biggest names in the culinary industry including Gualtiero Marchiesi, John Williams and Hans Nussbaumer, and even was George Clooney’s private chef for a brief stint. Not bad, right?
The menu’s focus is clearly on seafood, however they do have meat and pizza options should you bring a guest that isn’t a fan of anything not on land. The tasting we were provided with proves what a talent Chef Giuseppe truly is, and we were left wanting more, more more as the plates kept coming.
Some of the standouts that showed Giuseppe’s talents were the Tuna Filet over a bed of spinach and their Grilled Octopus, which came with chickpea puree, cherry tomatoes, arugula and lemon dressing.
The Tuna itself was big and mighty, and had such a fresh and hearty taste to it that made for a fantastic meal. The seafood underneath it allowed the tuna to scoop up some of its flavor, further adding to just how great the dish really was.
I’ve had grilled octopus at many different seafood spots, however theirs worked the best as, yes it was cooked well, but the supporting cast members in the chickpea puree, cherry tomatoes, arugula and lemon dressing really made the dish sing. If you are an oysters fan as well, I highly recommend trying their as the flavor that hits your mouth once the oyster slides in there is a party for your palette and then some.
To finish things off, their Tiramisu was superb, and may just be one of the best desserts I have had in a very long time. It was a traditional version of Tiramisu, that had so many layers of well-balanced sweetness that it made for the perfect end to a perfect meal.
For more information on Acqua Restaurant, please check out their official website.