The Forge Gets a Makeover
by maria argüello
Few restaurants in Miami have the long and distinguished history of The Forge. Throughout the decades, customers have remained loyal, with everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Chris Bosh dining the night away at the 41st Street eatery (Brett Ratner and Mickey Rourke were busboys there back in the day). Now, thanks to a stunning face-lift, The Forge is celebrating a new era. After overseeing this physical transformation, owner Shareef Malnik upped the ante by hiring renowned Miami chef Dewey LoSasso to take the culinary helm.
OCEAN DRIVE:How long did you work on the new menu?
DEWEY LOSASSO: I spent about 12 weeks going over the menu, and it’s been tweaked twice since the March reopening.
Was it tough editing such a historic menu?
At the old Forge, menus seldom changed. For example, this is one of the first places to do chopped salad. Why would you ever take it off the menu? And the dressing is perfect. So how do we make it better?
We added some Angus-beef tataki and a porcini-tomato sauce. It’s the equivalent of a culinary hug. The Super Steak has been on the menu for 20 years, so we weren’t going to touch it. But there is a new steak dish—Coffee and Eggs—and I recently added a 12-ounce New York strip: It’s smaller and you don’t have to commit to the higher price point. That’s another aspect of the new Forge: You can spend money but you don’t have to. It’s an affordable, comfortable living space, not just a restaurant.
Few restaurants reach icon status. How has The Forge done it?
At The Forge, you’ll find the same guy has been making the macadamia-nut roll for 30 years. Marva, the receptionist, has also been here that long. There are business elements, family elements, and that’s why I took the job. On Mother’s Day there was a table with three generations of longtime regulars, and they all had something different: lobster PB&J, mushroom risotto, and of course a steak.
What to Order at The Forge
Starter: Local tomato stack with goat cheese brulée, onion ring, prosciutto di Parma and Chateau Margaux vinaigrette
Entrée: Grilled double-cut Colorado lamb chops (PICTURED RIGHT)
Dessert: Banana fluffernutters with malted milk
432 41st St., 305-538-8533
photographs by caren alpert