In his eponymous restaurant, Chef Marc “Forge” Forgione showcases his laid-back yet high-style approach to New American cuisine in a comfortable and energetic atmosphere. Forgione and partner Chris Blumlo originally opened the restaurant under the Chef’s nickname in June 2008, offering their signature style of contemporary food and drink as well as friendly service that draws an eclectic mix of locals and visitors.
“I wanted to create a place that is genuine; somewhere that projects my energy and passion,” says Forgione. “Marc Forgione reflects years of family history, my personal style and the texture of the neighborhood.” Learn more about the building and the decor.
As the son of renowned chef Larry Forgione, the 29-year old chef has been developing his skills in the kitchen since he was 16 years old, first at his father’s restaurant An American Place. Forgione went on to work with a number of notable chefs including Kazuto Matsusaka, Patricia Yeo, Michel Guerard and Laurent Tourondel.
From these varied experiences, Forgione has created a straightforward American style with bold flavors and playful touches. Forgione manipulates citrus, heat and fresh herbs to create maximum flavor; and his sophisticated dishes blend familiar elements with precise technique. Menus change frequently to showcase fresh ingredients and new twists on seasonal American favorites. View our menu.
The 80-bottle wine list focuses on global selections, mostly from producers in California, New York, France, Italy and Germany. A section dedicated to American classics includes Robert Mondavi’s Reserve Cabernet as a tribute to the late winemaker.
Designed by Jun Aizaki of Crème Design (Rayuela in New York City, Tinto Wine Bar in Philadelphia), the Marc Forgione space exudes a vintage, well-worn feel. Reclaimed cedar wood from Blumlo’s circa-1900 Massachusetts sawmill line the walls. Throughout the restaurant custom-made glass lanterns with glowing candles are suspended by elevator cables.
Since opening, Marc Forgione earned coveted Michelin stars in 2010 and 2011, along with the distinction of a two-star New York Times review from Sam Sifton in October of 2010. The restaurant was also named “Key Newcomer” by Zagat Guide 2009, “Top 25 Restaurants in NYC” by Modern Luxury magazine and “All Star Eatery” by Forbes magazine in 2008-2010. Chef Forgione was awarded “Star Chefs Rising Star of the Year Award 2010″; named “Rising Star 2008″ from Restaurant Hospitality magazine and mentioned “New Formalist” by Esquire magazine in 2008. In 2010 he competed against 10 of the best Chefs from around the country and ultimately was crowned the winner of the Next Iron Chef on Food Network, joining the exclusive group of Iron Chefs.
134 Reade Street was originally built in late 1800’s as a butter warehouse. Primarily used for the storage of butter, the building was a big part of the Washington Street Market, which thrived downtown for decades. The butter would make its way from New Jersey in 100# blocks to Reade Street, from there it would be hoisted to the second floor where a saw would cut the large blocks down into smaller pieces for households.
One of the original elevator styles in Manhattan, the only remaining parts are the two wheels and the connection for the oil can.
Originally milled out of partner Christopher Blumlo’s family sawmill (Rounseville Sawmill of Rochester), which was in operation from the late 1800’s until 1930 when it burned down in a fire. The milled wood weathered on the property since the fire, being used for family projects (car ports, barns, fences) until being trucked to NYC to use at the restaurant.
Cast Iron Doors (Dining Room)
The doors are original cast iron pieces, similar work originally made famous by Daniel D Badger at his foundry. The doors were part of the façade of a Reade Street building for over 150 years until the building was demolished in 2006. A close friend from the neighborhood (Craig Bero, Cosmo Café) salvaged 12 pieces in all and gifted us 4 as a tribute to the neighborhood. We installed the doors in the back of the dining room.
A Glenwood Model C, which was originally a wood burning oven circa 1880-1900, it was purchased from a company in Massachusetts that refurbishes and converts old wood and coal ovens to electric. We use it to warm our house-made potato rolls for our bread service.
Part of James Beard’s personal collection, which was given to Chef Marc Forgione’s father Larry Forgione after James’ death in 1985.
The hutch behind our hostess stand is an antique originally purchased from one of the Rockefeller estate sales in Long Island.
Some other items of note on the shelves … A tool box and fish scaler from Forgione’s Great Grandfather; a whiskey jug from Blumlo’s Great Grandfather and a Pepper Grinder from his Great Grandmother; a butter churn from Forgione’s Great Grandmother; a vintage Sausage Stuffer from a customers’ family; the feather of a Condor from Robbie Codling; a 40 ounce of Old English poured out for our homie “FORGE”; and a Mortar & Pestle from the turn of the century which we still use.