One, Mara hovers.
Second, the food is a fabulous combination of Cajun, BBQ, and Southern Comfort foods. Spicy Food Guy especially enjoys the crawfish boil, the crab fingers, the mac & cheese, and the lobster roll. Though the restaurant has won a gazillion awards and has been featured on "Roker and the Road", New Yorkers seem to go out of their way to keep it a big secret from everyone and each other. The Amateur Gourmet admits as much.
Finally, the ambiance of Mara's is reminiscent of a small town bar bar and grill. Wooden chairs and tables, low lights, dishes all over the table. Feels like a place to gossip, to cast judgment on the arrogant and self-righteous. "You know James, that pompous VP of Communications? His wife ran off on him for a wrangler. Serves his ass right for always hitting on the administrative assistants."
As Alice Roosevelt once said, "If you don't have anything nice to say about anyone, come sit right next to me." Spicy Food Guy posits that ol' Alice would have enjoyed Mara's Homemade.