The Forge Restaurant Wine Bar
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The Forge Restaurant Wine Bar Restaurant Review: After decades as a socially trendy but culinarily conservative steak-centered restaurant, albeit one with wildly amusing over-the-top Gilded Age décor, The Forge closed for a renovation and reopened in 2010 with a look that’s more serious and a menu that focused on farm-to-table small plates, plus steak in a minor role. But the menu has trend-hopped back to beef, in “modern steakhouse” format, meaning there’s equal emphasis on simply grilled meat entrées and on chef-driven dishes, particularly seafood and vegetable-centered selections. Chef Christopher Lee’s well-prepared plates indeed tempt one to make a meal of them, ignoring steaks altogether. Entrées range from a witty deconstructed duck pastrami “sandwich” (pastrami-spiced duck breasts with rye gnocchi, braised cabbage and “Russian dressing” sauce) to classics with a modern twist like whole Dover sole with citrus brown butter, almonds and grapes, plus trendy romanesco. If one does hold out for steaks, they vary in quality, some elevated as in the flavorful dry-aged USDA Prime tomahawk steak for two, and some merely fine, such as several not-Prime but “premium” Creekstone Farms Black Angus cuts that are tender but lack the bold beefiness to stand up to oak smoke. For dessert, pastry chef Alycia Delaney turns out show-stoppers: a fun chocolate fondue with a dozen fresh fruits or bread, cookies and cracker dipping tools. And the extensive and varied international wine list for which The Forge has been famous throughout over a decade of identity switches remains.