The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar by Shareef Malnik

The Forge, Miami Beach, (305) 538-8533

What You Need To Know About The Forge

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MIAMI BEACH, In honor of The Forge’s 40th anniversary in 2009, owner Shareef Malnik took advantage of Miami’s off-season to close its doors and reinvent the restaurant’s direction. With the conclusion of almost a full year of extreme renovations, Malnik is now ready to reveal the Miami Beach icon’s rebirth: The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar.

A completely updated appearance, inspired farm-to-table menu and lifestyle approach to dining are all elements of The Forge’s new attitude. The award-winning restaurant has undergone a total makeover, the overall design and decor executed by Francois Frossard. The familiar dark woods, stained-glass murals and gilded-framed art have been replaced by walls of hand-carved blonde wood and antique smoked mirror, octopus-like lilac and white crystal chandeliers, and an eclectic mix of upholstered and metal furniture. The elimination of more than 100 seats has created the ambience of a large private home where every diner’s seat is “the best in the house.” The open floor plan of the 6,000-square-foot space allows guests to see and be seen, as well as experience The Forge’s customized environments: The Dining Rooms, The Forge Bar with Enomatic Wine System, The Library and The Board Room for private dining.

“I didn’t just want to design a restaurant, but a living space where people can create their own worlds. At the new Forge you are able to enjoy a five-course meal with wine pairings or order a burger and a glass of Bordeaux by the fire and read art books or check your Facebook,” said Malnik. “There are no rules.”

Chef Dewey LoSasso was chosen as The Forge’s new Executive Chef after an exhaustive interview process of 172 candidates. Malnik held rounds of tastings at his home, where he challenged the eight national finalists to showcase their strongest dishes. LoSasso, whom Malnik knew from the chef’s days at The Foundlings Club in Miami Beach and as Donatella Versace’s personal chef, impressed the restaurateur with his bold, clean flavors and modern approach to American cuisine.

The Forge’s 65-item menu is organized by Savory Snacks, Starts, Pastas, Grains & Risotto, Principal Meats, Principal Fish & Crustaceans, Salads and Sides. Highlights include Lobster Peanut Butter & Jelly, toasted brioche, chopped fresh peanuts, onion marmalade, diced chilled lobster ($15); Three Mushroom Risotto, roasted shitake, portabello and porcini, alba white truffle oil ($28);”Burger and Bordeaux,” grilled Angus sirloin burger topped with boneless short ribs and lobster marmalade, truffle French fries, pomegranate ketchup, served with a tasting of Bordeaux ($20) and Steamed Local Yellowtail Snapper “In a Bag,” infused with aromatics, vegetables, chilled roasted red pepper, smoked tomato sauce, white anchovy ($22). Paying homage to what made the restaurant famous, signature dishes including the award-winning “Super Steak” ($52), The Forge Chopped Salad ($13) and The Forge U2 Shrimp Cocktail ($12) will remain on the menu.

Pastry chef Malka Espinel has created a menu of desserts that are nothing short of addictive. Among the temptations: Lemon Panna Cotta, flavors of fennel, toasted almond gelato, biscotti ($9); Carrot Cake “Inside Out,” cream cheese sambayon, carrot caviar ($9); Apple Pie Sundae, caramelized apples, cinnamon-roasted walnuts, brown butter ice cream, butterscotch sauce, pie crumble ($9) and The Forge Souffle, offered in chocolate, Grand Marnier, “marble,” bourbon-hazelnut, apple cinnamon, s’mores and pistachio ($16).

Technology meets oenophilia at The Forge’s glam new Wine Bar. In addition to head mixologist Andres Aleman and his team of gifted mixologists ready to shake up one of The Forge’s new signature and classic cocktails (a Hot and Dirty martini with bacon-stuffed olives anyone?), there are also gleaming banks of stainless steel and glass-encased Enomatic Wine Systems, which allow guests to serve themselves wine in either one-, three- or five-ounce pours.

Guests use the “Forge Wine Card,” which functions similarly to a debit card, to access the Enomatic Wine System. The 64 individual canisters in The Forge Wine Bar contain a comprehensive selection of wine in all price categories. Pours range from a Negroamaro/Primitivo/Cabernet Sauvignon Tormaresca Neprica Puglia, Italy 2008 ($1.20 per ounce) to a Cabernet Sauvignon Chateau Haut-Brion, 1ER Grand Cru Classe, Pessac-Legonan, France 1995 ($33 per ounce). The eight Enomatic stations are divided as such: Mild: Light bodied and fruity, dry to lightly sweet; White Aromatic: Light-medium bodied, unoaked to lightly oaked, dry; White Rich: Medium-full bodied, moderate to fully oaked; Rose, Red Crisp: Light-medium bodied, unoaked to moderately oaked, low tannin; Red Earthy: Medium-full bodied, moderately oaked, low-medium tannin; Red Supple: Medium-full bodied, moderately oaked, medium tannin; Red Spicy: Medium-full bodied, moderately oaked, medium tannin; and Red Powerful: Full-bodied, fully oaked, high tannin. Another set of Enomatics, dispensing additional Powerful Red Wines and Fine Spirits, can be found flanking the Sommelier Station, its backdrop an installation of floor-to-ceiling crystal bubbles – a perfect stage for 32-year veteran, Executive Sommelier Gino Santangelo to decant his vintages.

International celebrity disc jockey and music producer DJ Irie keeps the vibe on point as The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar’s official music programmer. Instead of a DJ booth, Irie’s custom compilations are streamed through a high-tech Sonos wireless sound system, setting the mood for each room.

The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar is located at 432 41st Street, Miami Beach, FL 33140. Hours of operation are Sun.-Thurs., 6 p.m.-midnight; Fri.-Sat., 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Some things, thankfully, never change: Valet parking is still $5. For reservations, call 305.538.8533 or visit www.theforge.com for more information.

Written by webmaster

April 6th, 2010 at 9:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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