American Cut Midtown
 
 

Marc Forgione’s modern meat palace in Midtown

By James Oliver Cury

Celebrity chef Marc Forgione—the mohawked man who won Season Three of The Next Iron Chef and in 2010 was the youngest American to win a Michelin star—actually honed his chops making fancy steakhouse fare at BLT Steak with chef Laurent Tourondel. At American Cut, a trio of restaurants that includes locations in Tribeca and Atlanta, Forgione plays with his food in ways you just won’t find at other midtown meat emporiums.

The 6,000-square-foot space inside the Lombardy Hotel adds punk rock touches to an otherwise hyper-masculine ambience. If you like tableside theatrics to spice up your weekend, order the $20 OG Plank-Smoked Old-Fashioned: A server rolls a portable bar to your table, torches a wood plank until it smokes, smothers the smoke with an upside-down cocktail glass, mixes the ingredients (whiskey, water, bitters, sugar) in a separate container, and combines everything, with a giant ice cube, in a now-very-smoky glass. Wines are no less expensive; bottles start at around $60 and quickly eclipse the three-digit mark, though the 20 pages of options are impressive.

The dishes run the gamut from familiar to far out, though thankfully they generally do not have cutesy names. There are wet-aged steaks and dry-aged ones, four “specialty” cuts, two types of Wagyu beef, five sauces (chimichurri, béarnaise, au poivre, red wine, and butter) and six toppings (egg, blue cheese, bacon, bone marrow, foie gras, and chili lobster).
Chili Lobster is in fact Forgione’s signature dish; it marries the meat with a spicy soup of Sriracha butter, and is served with super-thick bread for dipping. If you’d rather not sear your tastebuds so early in a meal, there are also creative takes on Caesar salad, crab cakes, and mashed potatoes, plus sides like the delicious sunchoked spinach with fontina cheese and smoked salt, a high-end variation on creamed spinach.

The surf and turf, the tomahawk chop, and the porterhouse are all served for sharing, while for a taste of something truly different, consider the 30-day, dry-aged New York City steak, pre-sliced into thick sections, and beautifully charred with an unusual pastrami spice crust.

It’s the weekend, so yes, you’re having dessert. Skip the usual suspects and go straight to one (or both) of two outstanding alternatives: the salaciously titled BJ Doughnuts (a reference to Banana Jameson pastry cream) and the CrackerJack Sundae, a salty-sweet confection made with caramel popcorn, peanut-brittle, and remarkably rendered popcorn ice cream guaranteed to please your inner child.

hours

Mon–Thu 5:30 PM–10 PM; Fri–Sat 5:30 PM–11 PM
Closed Sunday

price range

$31 (Bell & Evans chicken) to $61 (The New York City Cut)
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