First Look: Carne Mare Is Andrew Carmellini’s Swanky Take On an Italian Steakhouse

It’s the latest eatery from the restaurateur behind favorites like Lafayette and Bar Primi.

Carne Mare Andrew Carmellini Pier 17
Photo by Nicole Franzen
Photo by Nicole Franzen

In a year where even the smallest feats are worth celebrating, chef and restaurateur Andrew Carmellini is stepping in with the perfect spot to clink glasses and feast on high-end steakhouse fare.

Carne Mare, which opened this week, is the latest in NoHo Hospitality Group’s portfolio that now stretches well over a dozen restaurants. It’s a swanky space that’s part of the Seaport District’s Pier 17 development, overlooking the water and the Brooklyn Bridge from two levels. As for the menu, the chef aims to make his Italian mark on a classic steakhouse complete with large cuts of meat, a spread of side dishes, and flowing martinis and other cocktails with an upscale atmosphere fit for celebration.

“It’s a great time to open a restaurant like this because it's such a celebratory time right now,” Carmellini said. “There's a lot of joy in restaurants, even more than usual.”

carne mare spicy lobster spaghetti
Spicy lobster spaghetti | Photo by Nicole Franzen

Carmellini and chef de cuisine Brendan Scott, who formerly worked with the restaurateur at Lafayette, have crafted a menu that blends classic steakhouse dishes with Italian influences. Several steaks and chops make up the bulk of the menu, and standouts include a 12-ounce wagyu striploin that is cured in gorgonzola cheese and the restaurant’s take on prime rib that is seasoned like porchetta and slow cooked.

In addition to beef, the restaurant’s offerings include a salt-baked black sea bass wrapped in fig leaves and a 12-ounce smoke-roasted beet “steak” that’s carved tableside. A select few pasta dishes like spicy lobster spaghetti and lasagna made with dry-aged beef and parmesan fonduta round out the menu.

The waterfront locale gets a nod with seafood options like oysters, jumbo gulf shrimp with classic cocktail sauce, and Alaskan king crab with lemon aioli. Other side dishes cover steakhouse favorites like garlic broccolini, a few tartar and carpaccio options, and a house wedge salad with gorgonzola, tomatoes, and pancetta dressing.

Carne Mare bar snacks
Carne Mare's slate of bar snacks | Photo by Nicole Franzen

A good martini is crucial to a solid steakhouse experience, and luckily, Carne Mare has two options on the cocktail menu, plus two negroni variations to play up the Italian side. The restaurant welcomes guests to visit solely for drinks and light bites, and to support that, they’ve rolled out a luxe menu of bar snacks that includes aranachi with California uni and housemade mozzarella sticks with caviar.

Striking views of the Brooklyn Bridge and waterfront complement the impressive interior of this bi-level restaurant designed by Martin Brudnizki. A wood-burning fireplace and sleek horseshoe bar are central to the space, which also features polished wood and rich leather banquettes that give everything a classic feel. “There’s a little nod to old New York in the restaurant,” Carmellini says.

Carne Mare dining room
Photo by Nicole Franzen

At the Pier 17 locale, the restaurant joins a lineup of other high-caliber concepts that have opened in the area in the last few years including Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s The Fulton, which opened in 2019, and a revamped version of David Chang’s Momofuku Ssäm Bar, which landed in Seaport in April.

The restaurant is currently open for dinner service starting at 5 pm on Wednesdays through Sundays. At full capacity, Carne Mare seats 140 total, including a 15-seat bar and an outdoor seating area overlooking the East River that seats 50. Reservations can be made online.

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Liz Provencher is an associate editor at Thrillist. You can follow her on Twitter or see what she eats on Instagram.