There’s a new face in Tribeca and its forging its way into the restaurant scene…cheesy, yes, but I couldn’t resist. Forge is a new place to try for all of you who don’t feel as though Tribeca is as distant as as an outer borough. It’s warm and welcoming – both food and decor.

Warm house-made potato rolls and caramelized onion butter by pastry chef Jennifer McCoy (Emeril’s Delmonico in New Orleans, Blackbird and Bittersweet Bakery in Chicago) make the period of looking through the menu feel almost like a delicious first course. They are kept warm in the 1906 cast iron oven in the dining room – a constant reminder that the ambiance of this restaurant should be cozy.

Starters include Chicken Nuggets, a mixture of shredded chicken thighs, chiles, red peppers and chives, breaded then cooked until crispy and served with smoked onion remoulade and beans. This assures guests that the menu is American, but done in a way you haven’t tasted or seen before. Entrées include aromatic Basil Crusted Halibut with marinated cherry tomatoes and Sorrento oil emulsion; Prime Boneless Rib Eye with potato brown butter, young Vidalia onions and a chimichurri sauce; and Black Sea Bass wrapped in La Quercia Prosciutto and served in an aromatic broth with baby sorrel and cockles. There are even menu items meant for sharing including Suckling Pig finished with natural jus, garlic confit and a touch of whole grain mustard, then topped with a round of perfectly crisped skin.
Perfect finishing desserts are also updated versions of American classics. A trio of the Root Beer Float with ginger ice cream, Butterscotch Pudding with a pignoli cookie and Forgione’s Granny Lu’s Chocolate Cake with a cocoa nib tuille couldn’t feel more “down home” done gourmet.
The restaurant brings a vintage feel with old cedar wood from the early 1900’s. Custom-made glass lanterns scattered throughout the restaurant contain real candles. The wood shelving in the dining room displays antique and heirloom objects ranging from vintage cookbooks to aged copper pots. Custom-made butcher block tables are a bright contrast to the black leather banquettes. The more casual Communal Room includes the bar and long communal dining tables. All menu items along are available throughout the Communal Room. An elevator shaft now functions as a stairway leading down to a future private dining area. I recommend taking a break from the modern decor and small plates to get some real good American food!
Forge @ 134 Reade Street

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