He’s food-scene royalty (Dad Forgione is frequently cited as the Godfather of American Cuisine) and a television darling but, all things considered, Marc Forgione is a pretty down-to-earth type of gentleman–but he’s a busy guy who’s tough to nail down. Although we’d be as well if we flip-flopped between his New York City restaurant, Marc Forgione, a just-opened Atlantic City steakhouse, and the Iron Chef kitchen stadium.
You recently opened in Atlantic City. Are you a gambler?
I wasn’t before, but since I’ve been down there, I’ve had some lucky hands.
Tell us about that project, American Cut?
I’m trying to bring the steakhouse back to its glory days. Most people don’t know this, but the first fine dining restaurants were actually steakhouses. I’m really trying to embrace the classic dishes such as Caesar salad and shrimp cocktail and bring them back to their origins.
Have you always been a steak guy?
Believe it or not, most people don’t remember this, but I used to be the corporate chef for the BLT Restaurant Group. I always enjoyed the concept and the simplicity of taking fresh ingredients and leaving them simply on a plate to speak for themselves. We tasted six or seven different ages, farms, grades, etc. until we finally all found a steak we loved.
What, in your opinion, is the most undervalued or least appreciated cut?
The hanger steak. I think pound for pound it’s the most flavorful steak.
Steak sauce or no?
Only for the fries.
Will American Cut have outlets in other cities?
I don’t know just yet. I’m still focused on nurturing my Atlantic City [restaurant] that just opened. Anybody out there reading this, I’m taking offers for other locations now. [Smiles.]