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I'm in the Mood for Greens and Crunch.

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I rack my brains and flip my files trying to please the lunch salad-cravings of my pal stationed at the Empire State Building. Not exactly fussy gourmand territory. Then I remember chef Larry Forgione’s class act at Lord & Taylor. My pal actually likes the idea of braving a department store. He loves to ogle women shopping. That’s how we discover the stylish elegance and crunch of slaw-style salads at Forgione’s An American Place. There are two comfort moods here. The avatar of American cookery’s home-style classics—meat loaf, pot roast, a Caesar with Wisconsin cheese, fruit cobbler, and Jim Beard’s berry shortcake—are always tempting. But the salad I hunger for appears on the “Menu for Healthy Lifestyles.” Finely shredded vegetable slaw comes with a choice of breast of chicken, shrimp, or salmon tossed in light orange-mint vinaigrette. The flaked Atlantic-salmon version is perfect, though the shrimp—cruelly overcooked—fail to live up to their Key West credentials. After such virtue, dessert feels obligatory. My pal succumbs to fruit cobbler. For the sake of science, I feel obliged to sample sugar-free, low-carb cheesecake. What a surprise. It’s astonishingly lush and tangy, under its mantle of carb-scant wild-blueberry sauce from my home state of Michigan.
424 Fifth Ave., nr. 39th St., fifth fl.; 212-827-5068.


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