Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Forge Restaurant & Winebar

There are few restaurants in Miami that have rich history dating back to the roaring 20's. At the same time The Great Gatsby was written during the era best known for unprecedented economic prosperity, the flapper culture and the evolution of jazz music, a blacksmith by the name of Dino Phillips opened a forge in Miami Beach to create and build decorative gates and ironwork for wealthy Miami residents. Big names such as the Firestones and the Vanderbilts came to Phillips' forge to solicit his work for their winter homes.

Fast forward a decade and Phillips transforms his forge into an upscale restaurant, still catering to the elite including Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Jackie Gleason. Right in the middle of The Great Depression and the filming of the Wizard of Oz, The Forge, as it was now called, was serving its signature specialty: the juicy and flavorful open hearth-grilled steak. The years to follow include new ownership in 1968 by financier Alvin Malnik and vast physical transformations which made The Forge the epicenter of locals, tourists and celebrities alike.

I was happy!
Plenty of sweet cocktails to choose from.
In 2009, Malnik's son, Shareef, became owner of The Forge and temporarily closed its doors for renovations. He reopened it on March 31st 2010, as The Forge Restaurant Wine Bar, located at 432 Forty First Street in Miami Beach, unveiling a completely new look, décor, and innovative menu featuring farm-to-table cuisine. If you've been to The Forge prior to its new appearance, you will not recognize it. The minute I stepped inside, the opulence and beauty took my breath away. The history extends to include chandeliers that once hung in the White House during the Kennedy era and were purchased at an auction. These are found elegantly hanging in a dining room I like to call the "Alice in Wonderland" room, built around the jaw-dropping center table and featuring gigantic chairs like those seen in the Mad Tea Party.  I love it. Off to the left,  I was enamored with another dining room reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast and the legendary library. Here you'll find shelves with books, and authentic Tiffany stained glass purchased in New York. It's spellbinding to say the least. They also have an impressive Wine Cellar offering the absolute best to complement your meal.

Executive Chef Dewey LoSasso
Photo Courtesy of The Forge

But the décor and impressive surroundings are not the center attraction at The Forge. Executive Chef Dewey LoSasso, has taken the rebirth of The Forge to new levels with his clean, crisp flavors and attention to detail. Born with a passion for cooking and exhibiting culinary skills since the age of 13, Chef LoSasso paid homage to The Forge's past by incorporating traditional dishes and flavors with his new, modern approach to cooking. He paid attention to what had always been and gave new life to it incorporating the global fusion that makes up Miami.

Guava Chicken Wings

Flight of Three Sliders
BBQ Hamachi and
Snapper Bass Ceviche
During my adventure, I indulged in traditional dishes, specials of the day, and new summer items. We started with the Guava Chicken Wings, a crispy treat covered with a sweet and savory guava glaze that awakened the palate with its hint of spice. Next we had a flight of their three sliders: the Truffle Burger, topped with Oregon cheddar and crispy truffles, the Sesame Seared Salmon Burger topped with mustard aioli and the Forge Burger. We also sampled some of Chef LoSasso's new seasonal crudo offerings, featuring BBQ Hamachi, lightly scorched with ponzu sauce and smoked tofu, and a citrusy Snapper and Bass ceviche. They were both light and refreshing; a perfect dish for the hot, summer months. You can watch Chef Dewey preparing the Hamachi on NBC 6 right here.

T-Bone Steak
Chilean Sea Bass
For the entrees, we indulged on the Chilean Sea Bass, a special of the evening, and the T-Bone Steak. The tender, flavorful Sea Bass sat on a pool of tomato porcini sauce that provided a bold companion to the mild fish. It was perfectly seared and melted in my mouth. I ordered a side of rich Duck Home Fries, treating my taste buds to a contrasting texture.  The T-Bone steak was quite a sight for hungry eyes. Covered in a mountain of fries, the juicy hunk of meat was grilled in a pomegranate barbeque sauce that made you want to lick your fingers. There was no stopping once we got started.

"The Forge" Grand Marnier Souffle

There's nothing like a happy ending and The Forge made sure we got one. For dessert, we had their signature Grand Marnier Souffle, a decadent, exquisite experience that made me have sinful dreams all night. Make sure you order it right at the beginning since it takes 30 minutes to prepare. A must!
I am definitely a fan of the The Forge and can't wait to return to try more of Chef LoSasso's unbelievable cuisine. For more information, you can visit their website at The Forge Restaurant Wine Bar or call them at 305-538-8533.

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  2. They've really gone all out with their brunch lately i see. Its such a beautiful place!