Mon-Sat, 5pm-11pm; Sun, 11am-2:30pm and 5pm-10pm
1, 2, 3 at Chambers St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Marc Forgione, previously called Forge, which opened on a leafy stretch of Reade Street in Tribeca, is yet another big-city restaurant painstakingly designed to look like the inside of a barn. The walls are made of rough-hewn, knotted cedar, and the room is partially lit by small glass box chandeliers, each one containing a guttering wax candle. The bar serves gin drinks muddled with garden cucumbers, and the shelves of the dining space are lined with flea-bitten knickknacks like spice boxes, tattered cookbooks, and old country-store weighing scales. These decorating choices are not all that surprising, considering that the proprietor is Marc Forgione, son of Manhattan’s original locavore, Larry Forgione. At his seminal restaurant An American Place, the great chef employed mushroom foragers and invented the concept of free-range chicken, a New Age version of which shows up on the menu at Marc Forgione. “Free Range Chicken Nuggets” is the name of this misguided dish, which the chicken-nugget freaks at my table rated somewhere below the greasy McDonald’s original but above the desiccated TV-dinner version peddled by Swanson. None of the pastas on the ever-changing, yes, “market-driven” menu (soupy agnolotti, oversalted carbonara) quite achieve liftoff, and in the considered opinion of my friend the Pork Loon, the pricey suckling pig for two tasted “like baked turkey.” But the fish dishes are capably made (try the kampachi tartare, and the mahimahi with cockles and sorrel), and so are the country chicken and the rib eye, which is spooned with fresh-made chimichurri sauce. The least successful desserts (soggy Nutella crêpes, a panna cotta spiked, oddly, with goat cheese) appear to be some strange attempt at country fusion. So stick to the basics, like “rustic summer” berry pie, and an elegant serving of upside-down peach cake molded, nostalgically, in the shape of a French tart.Note
Marc Forgione is home was our favorite summer drink of 2008, a mix of Bulldog Gin, muddled cucumbers, and lime juice.Ideal Meal
Kampachi tartare, mahimahi or prime rib eye, berry pie or peach upside-down cake.