Without a doubt, Marta Manhattan, located on the ground level of the Martha Washington Hotel, has been the most anticipated restaurant opening of Fall 2014. Brought to us by the Union Square Hospitality Group and Head Chef of Maialino, Nick Anderer, Marta was destined to be one of the most talked about restaurants of the year. I went to Marta this past week for lunch and I am proud to say that the restaurant is deserving of all of its hype. From the decor and ambiance to the open kitchen and delicious food, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed by your Marta experience…
Prior to my visit, I had heard constant chatter about Marta’s pizza. The pizza section is about 50% of the menu, but unfortunately for us nobread-ers, none of the pizzas are gluten free. Furthermore, anything in the FRITTI and DAL FORNO A LEGNA sections are also off-limits to those following a gluten free diet. Not to worry… all offerings under INSALATE are gluten free, as are the prosciutto/formaggi, and everything under the ALLE BRACE (main courses), except for the beer-brined chicken. So which dishes do I recommend? The prosciutto was incredible and the insalata verde was the perfect appetizer to kick off my meal. For main courses, my friend and I ordered the large octopus and the the grilled lamb chops with spigarello. Every review I read about Marta prior to my visit focused on the pizza and octopus, and I was thrilled to learn that the octopus dish was 100% gluten free. The octopus itself was just okay, but the purslane, cherry tomatoes, and cranberry beans that it is served with were incredible and this garnish added the perfect amount of flavor to the dish. Lastly, the lamb chops were very tender and I loved this entree; drizzle your lamb chops with lemon and you won’t be disappointed.
Overall my experience at Marta was amazing and I think Marta Manhattan just became New York’s new most popular power lunch restaurant. The staff was also very attentive and I really appreciate how they let me and my guest enjoy our meal; not once did I feel rushed! Although the number of options I can eat at Marta are limited, I would absolutely come back again soon. Congrats on the new restaurant, Union Square Hospitality!