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Apr 5, 2010 06:46 AM

The "New" Forge

Has anyone been? Supposed to go on Saturday night. What were some of the hits? Thank you for any help or guidance.

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  1. We were there this weekend. Fun meal. More details to follow, but I liked the burger and the "coffee & eggs" (coffee-rubbed ribeye w a goat cheese frittata). Interesting menu, also interesting to see the space redone. Had a great Manhattan at the bar too.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Frodnesor

      How was their wine system? Some good selections in there? Love the fact that they have 80 wines by the glass and really love the fact that they still have the chocolate souffle on the menu.

      1. re: mikek

        They have Enomatic machines on two walls of the bar and you can get wine samples of various sizes - though when I took a quick look, the selections are not nearly as interesting as the "real" wine list. And I should have mentioned the chocolate souffle - still there, and still great.

        1. re: mikek

          The wine system is fantastic. Selections are great and great fun. Food was mediocre, though. coffee-rubbed rubeye was good, not fabulous. menu is all over the place.

        2. re: Frodnesor

          Is Andrew Swersky still the chef?

          1. re: zook

            Dewey LoSasso (formerly chef/owner of North One Ten on Biscayne Blvd. near Miami Shores) is the chef, and the menu is very Dewey-ish. Interesting blend of some Forge classics ("Super Steak"), some Dewey classics (smoked salmon croquettes with "damn hot" guava sauce), and a lot of new stuff for both of them.

        3. Finally made it last night. On first impression, they did a GREAT job redesigning the space. It is light, comfortable, opulent, etc. We checked in for our 8 pm reservation about 10 minutes early and were told to get comfortable at the bar. Thankfully we found three chairs, because it took them 2 1/2 hours to seat us. The beer selections are great and I love the wine system, but 2 1/2 hours is just unacceptable. The only person who did anything to help the situation was the bartender Andres, who recognized me from Sra. Martinez. He was great and got us a round of drinks, but other than that, the situation was completely mishandled by the GM, who I spoke to directly. No one came over to check in and keep us updated, no one offered us appetizers, bread basket, nothing was brought out, no appetizers waiting at the table, nothing comped other than that one round, which was independent of the management. I do not know if it is because I am in my 20s and not older, more established, more of a "baller", but it is pretty stupid for them to handle the situation like this, especially after I told them that I am a local. As a result of the 2 1/2 hour wait, we were completely inebriated by the time we got to the food.

          Anyhow, the bread basket was good. A few choices and a delicious honey/roasted garlic and herb butter. We did have to ask for the bread basket.

          Drinks were ordered and brought out shortly thereafter. The waiter failed to remind us to order souffles at the outset, so that impacted our dessert later on.

          The apps:
          Salmon croquettes were delicious. Almost like salmon hushpuppies with a spicy mango sauce and a whipped cream cheese, really good.

          oyster po boy was simply outstanding. I lived in Nola for 5 years, my sister who was dining with me lived there for 4. It knocked both of our socks off. Great textures, plays on flavor. The brioche-type bun was perfect for it. Great, great appetizer. Oyster was fried perfectly, great crunch to it.

          My sister had the salmon, which was absolutely delicious, cooked perfectly and all of the components on the plate totally played off one another and just worked.

          I had the barolo braised short rib. Fork-tender, great depth of flavor, the polenta on the bottom soaked up the sauce. The onion rings, when eaten with the short rib and polenta provided a great contrast in texture and flavor. Another winner.

          I did not try my girlfriend's lobster/crab salad, but she said it was good.

          The duck far home fries were phenomenal too.

          The chocolate beignets. It was, simply put, one of the worst desserts that I have ever had. It tasted like sour milk, and had not one similarity to a beignet. I get the "our play or take on it." But is should still have some element similar to it. There were three balls of molten chocolate cake and were absolutely horrible.

          I understand when you go to eat at a trendy Sobe spot, you should realistically anticipate a 45 minute wait. It is an assumption of the risk. I understand when you go to a new-ish restaurant, you can maybe tack on an extra 30 minutes. We waited double that amount of time. With nothing done to help the situation at all. I sought out the GM and he did nothing besides give me his business card and how to reach him. What the hell am I supposed to do with that? Call and see how business is? And that is presuming that the service issues would not deter me from going back for a return trip. I emailed him today to let him know that he failed last night and some additional step has to be taken, though I doubt it will.

          As for the waiter, he was very knowledgeable about the menu, and by and large, his recs were spot on, beignets aside. However, the wines that I ordered for each course were brought out after that course was already cleared off. My coffee and baileys was brought out after the check was being paid.

          Having said that, I hope they get their stuff together, because the menu is interesting and the food was really delicious. The bar area is fantastic, they have 6 smaller tvs over the wine systems, and seem like a great place to have a great burger, beer and watch some football next season.

          Sra. Martinez
          4000 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, FL 33137

          10 Replies
          1. re: mikek

            Oh mikek, but you are a baller! Dont let anyone tell you otherwise...

            1. re: mikek

              How do you wait 2.5 hours for a table with a reservation?

              1. re: dietndesire

                How did we stay or how was the wait that long? The second question I cannot answer for you. The first, there is really nothing else in that area and you get very, very drunk. I am still waiting for a response from the GM who I spoke with that night.

                1. re: mikek

                  Could've gone to Chicken Kitchen.

                  1. re: mikek

                    See, this is the problem I'd have in this situation. I'd never in my mind imagine that it would take that long, so I'd always think "ok, it could only take another minute or two" and so I'd end up waiting all night, especially since I'm not really familiar with that area.

                    What I will say is that I'm impressed that you gave an unbiased view of the food. I could see a lot of people just bashing the food because of how bad their experience was with the wait.

                    Here's hoping this isn't a consistent issue!

                    1. re: talos126

                      This was a common complaint at the "old" Forge as well. I hope this is a reopening glitch rather than a return to old ways.

                      Edited to add: when we visited weekend before last, we were first sent to the bar, but our table was ready before I'd finished half my drink. Of course, we were fairly early (6:30 or 7pm) and our kids didn't quite fit in with the rest of the bar scene there.

                      1. re: Frodnesor

                        The food really was spectacular, some of the best I have had in Miami. The room was absolutely beautiful too, as was the bar. You can only look at the chandeliers so many times, however.

                        As of now, the GM has still yet to respond. This, to me, will be the true test. Things happen over the course of the night, I get it. An email apologizing and a small proactive step would go a long way to help the situation after the fact... especially with summer fast approaching, the season where they need to rely on locals for consistent business.

                        I just find it incredible that these managers, GMs get paid to do a job, yet a situation arises that they are well aware of where the slightest modicum of common sense would tell you how to deal with it, yet they do not. I have never worked in the restaurant business, but know that it is simple good business. Like I said, so much as bringing out a bread basket or having the GM come over on his own would have been fine at the time. We were perfectly friendly, calm, understanding, etc. when talking to the hostesses and the GM, as well.

                        Like I said, I really want him to do something to make the situation right, even so little as an apology, because we did love the food and atmosphere. But to pay that much to get treated like garbage is unacceptable. Because someone is not paying $160/glass for Chateau Haut Brion should not dictate the level of hospitality or accommodation that these people provide. I do not know if anyone from the restaurant peruses the board, but hopefully if they do, this will get passed along.

                        1. re: mikek

                          As a follow up, I did speak to the manager from the restaurant, discussed why certain steps were not/could not be taken and it seems like they are committed to not falling into the South Beach restaurant routine.

                          1. re: mikek

                            I had the same experience as a few up from here. We were about 10 minutes early and we sat at the bar for about 10 minutes before we were seated so, really, we were sat on time. Maybe it was just an opening "glitch" because our total experience of the service was pretty much above and beyond. Also maybe it was because we are a little older (in our late 40's and 50's although I tend to look young) that we got treated really well. But then again, I did notice that the staff seemed to be on top of things for everyone (at least from where I sat). And the food and whole experience was truly exceptional as well. I also see that it was early April when you went so maybe they've worked this sort of thing out since they opened. Had a great time

                            The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar
                            432 W. Forty First Street, Miami Beach, FL 33140

                            1. re: funguy123

                              Well...I am a baller.....I'm 47.....I look 47....and I ain't goin......Too many other places on Miami Beach that want...and....NEED the business....2-1/2 hours to get a reserved seat....and the manager still hasn't responded to you.......

                              I work too hard for my money.......And obviously they don't need any of it!