American Cut Brings Modern Steak to Tribeca

When the most happening gal in town asked me to dinner, I knew better than to say no.

After all, it was for a preview of a restaurant by a chef I already adore. What could be wrong?

The answer: I now need a bigger size of pants.

American Cut is the new Marc Forgione restaurant. He already has a branch in Atlantic City and is now bringing his updated steakhouse to Tribeca. The restaurant is huge and dark, with a very cool bar and lounge area and a dining room that is part clubby steakhouse, part hip downtown eatery. It has many large booths, two private dining spaces, and a huge communal table down the center of the room. It would be awesome for a celebratory dinner or a bachelor party.

IMG_20130925_193418_761 Caesar Salad

This arrives to the table in whole leaves and is then mixed and chopped to your specifications, tableside. It is just one of the cheeky nods to old fashioned steakhouses,  where salad is often  presented in front of your very eyes.

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It is delicious, if a bit muted in taste. The egg is perfectly cooked, with firm whites and a rich, smooth yolk that enriches the creamy, Parmesan flecked dressing. Soft cloves of garlic are roasted until sweet and soft and the crouton is particularly memorable – thick, buttery, and wonderfully crunchy. This could use a bit more acid and pepper, but other than that, it’s perfect.

IMG_20130925_193446_777 Chili lobster with Texas toast

This is a Marc Forgione signature dish, and now I know why. It is the single best lobster dish I have ever had. Sorry, lobster roll. Sorry steamed lobster. This is it. A tail and some claw meat arrive, already separated from but still served with the shell. It is incredibly soft, like it is poached slowly and served the very SECOND it is cooked, not a minute later. The broth is creamy but not heavy, and is fragrant with garlic, chili peppers, and bright tomato. It isn’t really hot – juts a little spicy. It’s like the best spicy mussels ever, because the lobster meat is so naturally sweet and creamy. The airy Texas toast is ideal for sopping up the rich broth – its totally addictive.

IMG_20130925_193533_808 Tuna tartare with quail eggs and yuzu

Um, is this a joke?! It’s insanely delicious – fresh, soft ahi tuna with crunchy green beans and tht bright yuzu accent. That’s tasty – its tart and fresh. But what really,truly elevates this is the quail egg. Forgione is a master of the egg. He knows exactly how to use it indifferent dishes to highlight the main ingredient, not overpower it. Here, the quail egg is buttery but not overly rich – it merely adds a layer of fat that accentuates the tuna’s naturally lean flavor and pleasantly firm texture. It is well seasoned and one of the better tuna preparations I have had.
IMG_20130925_200505_358 Pastrami porterhouse

Hello, mashup of my dreams. High end, beautifully marbled steak meets downtown, coriander and mustard dusted pastrami. The meat cuts easily but has a good, steak like chew – nothing mushy here. Its crust is thick with pastrami spices, a little on the spicy side but, then – so is pastrami. It’s served on whole grain mustard seeds that pop gently in the mouth and adds a pungent taste.

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This is a fatty cut of meat, so be aware that you may have to leave few bites at the table. But the steak is so flavorful, deep, and satisfying that it’s worth it. I really can’t recommend this steak highly enough.

IMG_20130925_200510_999 Latkes with gribenes, sour cream, and apple sauce

Mother forgive me, for I am about to speak blasphemy: These latkes are better than ours I am so, so sorry. And ashamed, too. These are just too perfect. Too crispy on the outside but still fluffy on the inside. Too perfectly spiked with zippy onion flavor interspersed throughout the creamy-crunchy potato pancakes. Too ingeniously sauced with both cool, tangy sour cream and sweet apple sauce for the best of both flavor worlds. Too well layered with incredibly crunchy chicken skin that is even better than its smoky counterpart – bacon.

I am ashamed. And I am now fat. These latkes are unbelievable.

IMG_20130925_200522_314 French onions with melted Gruyère and Amy’s Bread croutons

Because who needs all that broth when you have sweet, soft caramelized onions under a blanket of melted Gruyere cheese and perfect rounds of Amy’s sourdough bread. Be aware that this dish is aggressively peppered – if you aren’t a fan of pepper then this isn’t for you.
IMG_20130925_204250_525 Crackerjack sundae

Though it isn’t the best ice cream dessert in Manhattan, it’s certainly up there. It’s perfect for someone who can’t have the classic tin roof sundae because of peanut allergies – it has the same buttery, crunchy qualities with none of the dangers. The whipped cream, homemade poapforn ice cream, and crunchy brittle absolutely make this fun, nostalgic end to a fabulous meal.

You should totally go here. This place is awesome. It’s highly priced, but the staff is wonderful, the cocktails are plentiful, and for a special occasion meal, what could be better than pastrami spiced high end, perfectly medium rare steak?

Oh yeah…the fact that its cooked by an Iron Chef.

Bigger pants, coming my way today. 

Disclaimer: This was a press meal. I was not required to write about my experience, and my opinions are my own and unbiased.