Not too long ago, I set myself a life goal to dine at one restaurant of each of the American Iron Chefs. As a foodie and lover of all foods creative and delicious setting this goal for myself will ensure that I continue to try new restaurants no matter what sorts of excuses I try to come up with. Too far, too expensive, too cold, too tired… you know the schpeel. Thanks to the generosity (and love) of my Grandma and my parents I have already been able to check three Iron Chefs off my list: Chef Morimoto, Chef Garces, and, as of last night, Chef Forgione. Both Morimoto and Restaurant Marc Forgione I went to with my Grandma in New York City. Chef Garces’ restaurant Tinto I went to with my parents in Philadelphia. Considering that I visited all three of these restaurants within the past year, I’d say I’m on a good pace to successfully accomplish this goal.
Last night I dined at Restaurant Marc Forgione with my Grandma and sister after traveling to the big apple for yet another ballet company audition. The restaurant is located just one block from the Cambers St. subway stop in the heart of Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood. The interior of the restaurant was dimly lit when I first walked in but as my eyes adjusted I no longer noticed that most of the light was coming from the large number of candles in the restaurant. Aesthetically placed of course. I also quite enjoyed the exposed brick wall I was facing and the large framed mirrors hanging on the walls to make the space feel larger than it actually was.
Our meal began with a delightful two-part amuse-bouche. One bite was a lovely candied beet with a touch of creamy goat cheese on top. The other was a small puffed dough filled with vegetable cream cheese. Both were incredibly dainty and delightful.
For my meal I took advantage of the “Sunday Supper” deal – 3 courses for $44. You could choose any dish listed on the menu too. It was much nicer to have a choice of 6 dishes for each course rather than the 2 or 3 choices you so often see on prix fixe menus. To start things off I chose iceberg lettuce with Shropshire cheese, jicama, and sherry vinegar. The cheese was of the blue-veined variety (which I absolutely adore) and was quite delicious. There was a little too much dressing on the salad for my taste – my lips involuntarily puckered a few times due to the acidity of the vinegar. But overall it was a wonderful light start to the meal and just the right amount of food for an appetizer.
Next came my entrée. Four slices of perfectly tender duck breast with a beautifully caramelized skin, resting on a bed of shaved red cabbage which was cooked until it was soft and sweet, pumpkin spaetzle that I dare say was deep-fried (how magnificent), and refreshing pieces of parsnip. Around all of this was a delicately sweet, vanilla-y reduction that also possibly was caramelized somehow. The dish was wonderfully rich and sweet but not overly so. It hit just the right spot.
For dessert, I continued my rich and sweet theme and gorged on banana “pecan pie” bread pudding, served piping hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Once I cracked through the layer of “pecan pie” topping the bread pudding, I was delighted by the fresh banana flavor that was waiting below. Boy was that dessert gone in a jiffy! I was too excited to eat it I didn’t even pause to take a picture.
What a fantastic meal! Three chef’s restaurants happily tasted, several more waiting to be enjoyed. Mario Batali, here I come!