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« Dinner at Crema Restaurante, 9/11/08 | Main | Alternatives to Haagen Daaz...That actually taste just (almost) as good! »
Monday
Sep082008

Dinner at Marc Forgione, 9/04/08

July and August were quite the busy and stressful months for The Lunch Belle...So much so, that I wasn't able to keep up with my fellow bloggers on chow.com (regarding what's new in the NYC dining scene), or even get out on the town and try my city's latest and greatest restaurants. Thankfully, all-things-hectic have slowed a bit, and I'm feeling much more grounded and calm.

In a zen-like celebration of less stress, my friend Meghan made reservations for us at Marc Forgione, a new restaurant in Tribeca that, admittedly, I was sadly unfamiliar with. We arrived a couple of minutes early for our 6:30 p.m. table and were seated immediately. As Meghan excused herself to wash her hands, I took note of the lovely atmosphere surrounding me. Approaching Marc Forgione's stoop, I noticed that the restaurant's exterior is floor to ceiling windows that serve as a back drop to a spacious outdoor seating area. Unpolished wood planked floors, exposed brick walls, tall ceilings with tract lighting, wrought iron candelabras and oversize mirrors decorate Marc Forgione's grand interior. Amongst a sea of two and four-top's, I was very pleased to find a communal table that could seat up to twelve, making Marc Forgione a contender for future holiday and birthday dinners.

As soon as Meghan returned to the table, our fabulous server approached us with food and drink menus and two amuse bouche, which we split. Staying true to my Russian roots, I chose to kick off the night with a vodka that was blended with homemade lemonade, muddled raspberries and sparkling wine. After one sip, I was certain that this was the best cocktail I've ever tasted in my adult life. What are my criteria? For one, I prefer NOT to, or very subtly, taste the alcohol in mixed drinks. Secondly, I'm a sucker for anything blended with berries and homemade lemonade. This beverage hit the spot in every way.

With a couple pointers from our server, Meghan and I finally chose our appetizers and entrees. To start, we decided to split: Prosciutto wrapped figs with Marcelli's soft pecorino, a rosemary-ginger reduction and micro salad; and the heirloom tomato salad with Midnight Moon goat cheese and applewood smoked bacon. Simultaneously, two warm homemade potato rolls with garlic butter arrived alongside. Both dishes were unique, artistically presented and prepared with the highest quality ingredients; however, I felt that with a little pinch of salt here and some more cheese there, they could have been much better.

As an entree, Meghan ordered the prime hanger steak with Yukon potato gratin, Pierre poivre sauce and crispy shallots, and I chose the marinated diver sea scallops with sweet corn risotto, baby sorrel and chorizo emulsion. Our waitress helped us pair a wine with our meal, which was an excellent Sancerre rouge (I'm familiar with Sancerre whites, but had never seen a rouge blend). Both of us were equally impressed with our meals and wine. When I return to Marc Forgione, however, I will forgo the scallops and order the steak, which was absolutely magnificent.

As an end to our wonderful evening, Meghan and I each ordered a glass of Moscato d'Asti and split the cocoa crepe with Nutella, caramelized banana and coffee ice cream. Our steep bill arrived with a delicious gratis homemade chocolate that tasted like an Almond Joy candy bar bite.

I look forward to returning to Marc Forgione. Our server advised us that the restaurant will soon be serving brunch, which I suspect will be just as, or even more, excellent! Though a bit overpriced, the service, food, cocktails and atmosphere at Marc Forgione is top notch.

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