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Scene: Simple Pleasures

Fine dining without the fuss is a simple concept that still proves difficult to execute for many aspiring restaurateurs.

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NEW YORK — Fine dining without the fuss is a simple concept that still proves difficult to execute for many aspiring restaurateurs. When Marc Forgione, the former executive chef at BLT, and Chris Blumlo paired up to open a restaurant, they crafted it after their ideal dining experience. "We wanted good music, good food and a staff that has fine dining execution, but personality," said Blumlo.

Forge, which opened on June 17, serves creative American cuisine to a mixed crowd of Patrick Bateman types and the lower-key locals of surrounding TriBeCa.

Forge is Forgione's nickname among friends, reflecting the personal nature of the restaurant. "For my first restaurant, I wanted a place that is genuine; somewhere that projects my energy and passion," said Forgione.

The restaurant's cedar walls, butcher-block tables and leather banquettes complement Forgione's laid-back approach to dining.

Forge serves up refined American food such as "chicken nuggets," which, Blumlo said, "trigger a lot of childhood memories for people." But these chicken nuggets, made of shredded chicken thigh confit, are far from your average Happy Meal. Other dishes include sea bass wrapped in prosciutto and leg of suckling pig.

Cocktails such as gin with cucumber and lime juice, or bourbon with Maker's Mark-marinated cherries and Boylan's cola slake city dwellers' summer thirst. Helpful bartenders steer customers through a 75-bottle wine list that features global selections like a Txacolina from the Basque country of Spain.

Forge, 134 Reade Street, New York; 212-941-9401.
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