Proprietor/Chef: George Mendes
31 West 17th St, New York, NY 10011
Mood: sharing is caring. refined small bites of food that’s worthwhile to share here.. if you have a big appetite, this may not make up for it…without spending extra $$$
Tastes Like: innovative concepts found in small plate offerings for the refined palate. if you’re looking a playful twist of fun and interesting flavors…you’ll find it here. some dishes can bit a bit tad salty (arroz de pato)…but for the most part, seasoned really well. you’ll have to be patient eating here, as everything is intended for small bites. more for you to savor and enjoy each dish.
Must Haves: uni toast… i could have eaten 10 of them. arroz de pato if you like duck. savory duck over rice, that gives you the warm fuzzies. reminds me of a hearty paella…. and lastly, the caramelized brioche. warm, gooey, served with ice cream and blood orange gelee. truly a masterpiece for that amazing sweet, tart, cold goodness.
Stay Away: n/a
Ambiance: sleek, modern, spacious… highly refined. everything you’d want for excellent dining. i highly recommend the bar seating by the kitchen. It’s so much fun to see them cook live and in action. George Mendes is about the most calmest, albeit quietest chef I’ve ever seen!
Service: bar seating …flawless.
Rating: 5 stars
Proprietors/Chef: Rebecca Charles
Neighborhood: West Village
18 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014
Mood: seafood delight… lobster rolls… oysters… daily catch.
Tastes Like: great seafood without all the fancy fixings. i was in the mood for skate which they pan seared to a lovely degree with wonderful crunchy snap peas. The bouillabaisse was amazing … more so the broth than the actual seafood with a great assortment.
Must Haves: oysters .. people keep talking about the lobster roll, which undoubtedly looked delicious.
Stay Away: n/a
Ambiance: very casual… noise level is about appropriate.
Service: so far, so good. everything comes out pretty quickly.
Rating: 4 stars
Caveat: small menu, tiny restaurant, so be prepared to wait!
Proprietors/Chef: Christopher Blumlo/Marc Forgione
134 Reade St, New York, NY 10013
Mood: a delectable brunch treat or rustic, utmost satisfying dinner for two…
Tastes Like: flavors are so delicately layered … you’ll want to eat real slow to savor every bite. you can tell marc cares about the quality of the ingredients… as the entrees are very straightforward. the main ingredient of the entree portion shines all by itself without the sauce and extra jazz. my black bass was superb as was the shrimp and clams in the lobster broth. new to the menu is the strip streak which was cooked to perfection. tender chunks of meat, without being chewy … that’s when you know it’s all in the meat. they bake all their goods in house…so if you love bread, you are in for a real buttery treat.
Must Haves: for brunch… the bacon, egg & cheese popover is a must.. it’s my favorite item on the menu and if you ask for hot sauce, they’ll give you sriracha, the good stuff!! if you like french toast, they have an amazing combo with bananas and candied walnuts. i was advised by forge that they changed their bread recently..they used to use banana bread and now reverted to a brioche. for dinner, you really can’t go wrong. forge offers a great selection for both meat and seafood…. or dinner for two options.
Stay Away: for brunch, didn’t care too much for the eggs benny with butternut squash. am usually crazy about butternut squash but didn’t find this to hit my sweet spot.
Ambiance: casual, comforting without being overly obnoxious. service is fantastic and the people know how to respect boundaries. we’re all here for the food not the social gathering scene.
Rating: 5 stars
Caveat: the restaurant changed its name from Forge to Marc Forgione .. to gain a stronger presence in identity. Marc Forgione has then competed on Iron Chef and was named the winner of Iron Chef. Since his popularity was easily skyrocketed from the show, I have had a hard time getting reservations for brunch on weekends!!! Before, we just easily walked in….gone are the days!