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FOOD + DRINK

Resy + Marc Forgione TriFecTa

FOOD + DRINK

Resy + Marc Forgione TriFecTa

Laotian fare, dry-aged steaks, banana-infused Jameson, egg desserts and more in this upscale restaurant crawl through TriBeCa

by Nara Shin
on 13 May 2015

The stress of planning a celebratory dinner often goes unrewarded on the actual day—trying out a new restaurant can be a financial gamble where losers are left with more than a disappointed taste in the mouth. Taking away the headache and near-guaranteeing an unforgettable epicurean experience is a special night dreamt up by mobile reservation app Resy and Chef Marc Forgione (of Iron Chef America fame). It's a three-course dinner with beverage pairings, where each course takes place at a different Forgione restaurant in Tribeca: Laotian-inspired fare at Khe-Yo, hearty steaks and sides at American Cut and an off-menu dessert and digestif at Restaurant Marc Forgione.

Dubbed the "Marc Forgione TriFeCta," its purpose is more than sending people home with a full stomach. Discover a neighborhood that you're not too familiar with, restaurants you're not too familiar with, and of course, dishes that delight in their creativity. Perhaps the highlight of the night was the rare convenience and leisure: leaving each table without having to fumble for the wallet or calculate tip. It's a simple goodbye—and then strolling a few blocks over to the next venue, in one of the most picturesque neighborhoods of NYC. It's a kind of upscale restaurant crawl.

Only available for one table of two or four per night, Monday through Thursday at 7PM, the dinner costs $150 per person (including tax and tip). Each course takes an hour; see what's in store below.

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First Course: Khe-Yo

The night kicks off at Khe-Yo, a tucked-away gem on Duane Street whose menu features Laotian-inspired Southeast Asian cuisine—though you wouldn't know it from the spacious, industrial yet cozy interior. The concrete bar, exposed brick walls and large mural of an elephant promise good vibes.

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Two sharable dishes come out, paired with Ohmine junmai sake from Yamaguchi prefecture in Japan. Crunchy coconut rice balls topped with slices of kaffir lime sausage are paired with the iceberg lettuce (meant for wrapping). There's a multitude of textures at play. The other is line-caught blue-fin tuna topped with Maine uni, and shrimp chips—but somehow it doesn't taste too fishy. There's a lot of dimension in the taste, with many influences of different cuisines. Everything tastes fresh and light—and leaves a lingering spiciness in the mouth.

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Second Course: American Cut

After a five-minute walk under a dusky sky, next is American Cut on Greenwich Street—the second branch of Forgione's modern steakhouse (the first opened in Atlantic City). The wine (2007 La Rioja Alta "Viña Alberdi" Reserva) poured is full-bodied and spicy, prepping the mouth for the feast that's about to arrive. The stars are the 30-day dry-aged 14 oz NY strip steak as well as the pastrami-spiced 20 oz New York City Cut, but the comfort food sides could win awards for their supporting roles—silky bone marrow with escargot and perfectly cooked carrot glazed carrot (the secret is both carrot and orange juice). Add the thinly sliced potatoes and cheesy spinach, and you could leave overstuffed without finishing the restaurant crawl. (We recommend keeping an eye out for your salt intake as they don't go light on the seasoning.)

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The beauty of this pre-fixe experience is that at American Cut—or any other top-rated steakhouse in NYC—one could easily spend hundreds of dollars in the blink of an eye. The portions certainly aren't small here, as one of just three courses; the Marc Forgione TriFecTa starts to feel more and more like a sweet deal as the night progresses.

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Restaurant Marc Forgione

The three-hour pilgrimage ends at the guru's temple on Duane Street to try two of the chef's personal favorites. At Restaurant Marc Forgione, The Egg is an off-menu dessert created by pastry chef Veronica Rivera that takes 24 hours to make (with some overnight freezing in molds involved) and is, in fact, not an egg. Cracked open over a nest of chocolate crumbs and shredded phyllo dough, the "egg" reveals itself to be a white chocolate shell oozing a bright yellow passion fruit gelée.

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Though the above dessert is best paired with Moscato d'Asti for its freshness, Chef Forgione thinks every meal at his namesake restaurant should end with what's become their signature cocktail over the past five years: the BJ, or Banana Jameson. The fruit is infused for a minimum of three days, and have truly married into the whiskey as the steady, even infusion carries the taste through to the end. A sweet, intriguing way to end the night.

Reservations for the Marc Forgione TriFecTa need to be booked at least 24 hours in advance through this link at Resy; the experience is limited to one table (of two or four people) per night, Monday through Thursday for 7PM. The $150 per person includes tax and tip.

Interior of American Cut courtesy of the restaurant, all other images by Cool Hunting

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