Quite apart from the minor hullabaloo I managed to stir up over at eater.com, which was fun enough (wow, anonymous commenters embarrass themselves with their ignorance), it’s been a good week.
On Monday night I had dinner at Forge with publicist Jennifer Baum. We’ve known each other for years and years and probably last dined together at Citarella, back when it was a restaurant.
Boy did we gossip, and you'll hear none of it, thank you very much. But we also spoke of family and politics. I said my 12-year-old niece Tahirah and nine-year-old nephew Harrison surely understand that you can't invade a country and impose democracy from above, and Jennifer was sure that her seven-year-old son Griffon, an avid Obama-supporter, would easily arrive at that conclusion as well.
And we also reflected on the rarefied world we live in, in which chefs like Marc Forgione come out of the kitchen and ask if they can cook for us. I actually have a number of friends who would roll their eyes and ask if we can please just have a simple meal and escape from the restaurant at a reasonable hour.
Since I’m supposed to spot trends, I of course am happy to have the chef serve whatever he wants. What he chooses to cook tells me what he thinks is his trendiest, best or most interesting stuff. Ditto with wine pairings. Let the sommelier pick and you can see what he or she thinks is the coolest stuff in the cellar (that can affordably be poured for media).
By the way, I wrote a profile of Marc back in mid-2005, when he was chef de cuisine of BLT Prime, which had just opened. I asked him where he’d like to be in five years, and he said: "I'd like to open a small restaurant in New York City, but we'll see what happens. My dream: 75-seat restaurant; four, five people in the kitchen. My food."
Forge has 81 seats.
And this is what Marc had to say on Monday:
Tomato consommé gelée over grilled corn-basil salad
Scrambled egg and American caviar
Nueske bacon, heirloom tomato and smoked onion rémoulade with three types of basil and a black pepper crouton
Wild kampachi tartare with avocado, red radish, American caviar and Saratoga chips.
Chilled watermelon soup with jumbo lump crab and wild flower honey
Black pepper linguine with 24-hour veal breast, smoked ricotta and summer squash
Basil crusted halibut with marinated cherry tomatoes and sorrento oil
A meat tasting, including suckling pig leg as well as loin (the loin isn't on the menu) as well as hanger steak au poivre and Colorado lamb with cocoa beans.
Basil mashed potatoes, cole slaw with mustard oil and other sides
Peach upside-down cake with sweet corn ice cream and caramel corn
Plum jelly doughnuts with lemon verbena crème anglaise
Yogurt panna cotta with black mission fig, marcona almond and Pedro Jimenez reduction