April 27, 2017

Chef Giuseppe Marrone Takes the Helm at ACQUA Restaurant and Wine Bar at Peck Slip, NYC

ACQUA's new Executive Chef Giuseppe Marrone
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli
We wish our dear friend Chef Giuseppe Marrone much success on his new venture as Executive Chef and Managing Partner of ACQUA Restaurant and Wine Bar in Manhattan’s historic South Street Seaport.
Arancini di riso alla Napoletana
Stopping by after work with a few friends, we were treated to the same fine dining and Neapolitan hospitality we’ve grown accustomed to while he was in charge of Brooklyn’s Forno Rosso. Sadly, the “Red Oven” just isn’t the same without him, but now I know where my new go-to spot in Lower Manhattan is going to be.
Located at 21 Peck Slip, ACQUA’s relaxed ambience is perfect for a casual meal or a romantic interlude. Gerardo and the wait staff were attentive, friendly and provided excellent service. The food, of course, was delicious.
For starters, we enjoyed some savory arancini di riso alla Napoletana, a paper cone filled with small Neapolitan rice balls served hot from the fryer. They came with a side of dipping sauce, which was good, but I prefer mine plain.
Next, Giuseppe served his outstanding polpo alla griglia. Charred just right, the tender and chewy grilled octopus nestled in a bed of arugula, cherry tomatoes and lemon was very tasty and quite enjoyable.
Polpo alla griglia
After the polpo, the maestro presented his classic pizza Margherita. A Neapolitan masterpiece, the tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil pie was crispy and aromatic. He brings the love and devotion demanded from Naples’ national dish.
Pizza Margherita
Tempted to try the day’s special—ravioli con ‘nduja (ravioli with spicy Calabrese pork sausage)—I opted instead for the chef’s daily homemade gnocchi del giorno. Perfectly cooked, the delectable dumplings and calamari were glazed in a mouthwatering saffron sauce. I do not regret my choice.
Gnocchi with calamari and saffron
Naturally we capped off our meal with coffee and dessert, but first we toasted chef Marrone’s genius and boundless hospitality with a healthy glass of amaro, my preferred after-dinner digestif. This was followed with some piping hot espresso, panna cotta ai frutti di bosco, tiramisu and a bowl of nutty biscotti.
Panna cotta ai frutti di boscotiramisu and nutty biscotti
Chef Marrone’s ambitious vision for ACQUA has me salivating. Plans of adding a clam bar, offering some live entertainment and starting a Napoli fan club are in the works. OK, maybe I imagined the latter idea, but I’m convinced his energy and professionalism will take this delightful eatery to an even higher level.
ACQUA Restaurant & Wine Bar ★★★★★
21 Peck Slip @ Water Street
New York, New York 10038
Tel 212.349.4433