Chef Dewey LoSasso was chosen as The Forge's new Executive Chef after an exhaustive interview process of 172 candidates. Malnik held rounds of tastings at his home, where he challenged the eight national finalists to showcase their strongest dishes. LoSasso, whom Malnik knew from the chef's days at The Foundlings Club in Miami Beach and as Donatella Versace's personal chef, impressed the restaurateur with his bold, clean flavors and modern approach to American cuisine.
Pastry chef Malka Espinel has created a menu of desserts that are nothing short of addictive. Among the temptations: Lemon Panna Cotta, flavors of fennel, toasted almond gelato, biscotti ; Carrot Cake "Inside Out," cream cheese sambayon, carrot caviar ; Apple Pie Sundae, caramelized apples, cinnamon-roasted walnuts, brown butter ice cream, butterscotch sauce, pie crumble and The Forge Souffle, offered in chocolate, Grand Marnier, "marble," bourbon-hazelnut, apple cinnamon, s'mores and pistachio.
Technology meets oenophilia at The Forge's glam new Wine Bar. In addition to head mixologist Andres Aleman and his team of gifted mixologists ready to shake up one of The Forge's new signature and classic cocktails (a Hot and Dirty martini with bacon-stuffed olives anyone?), there are also gleaming banks of stainless steel and glass-encased Enomatic Wine Systems, which allow guests to serve themselves wine in either one-, three- or five-ounce pours.
International celebrity disc jockey and music producer DJ Irie keeps the vibe on point as The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar's official music programmer. Instead of a DJ booth, Irie's custom compilations are streamed through a high-tech Sonos wireless sound system, setting the mood for each room.
In short, each evening at The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar is a special night.
A CULINARY BASTION
The Forge's 65-item menu is organized by Savory Snacks, Starts, Pastas, Grains & Risotto, Principal Meats, Principal Fish & Crustaceans, Salads and Sides.
Highlights include Lobster Peanut Butter & Jelly, toasted brioche, chopped fresh peanuts, onion marmalade, diced chilled lobster ; Three Mushroom Risotto, roasted shitake, portabello and porcini, alba white truffle oil;"Burger and Bordeaux," grilled Angus sirloin burger topped with boneless short ribs and lobster marmalade, truffle French fries, pomegranate ketchup, served with a tasting of Bordeaux and Steamed Local Yellowtail Snapper "In a Bag," infused with aromatics, vegetables, chilled roasted red pepper, smoked tomato sauce, white anchovy .
Paying homage to what made the restaurant famous, signature dishes including the award-winning "Super Steak" , The Forge Chopped Salad and The Forge U2 Shrimp Cocktail are a popular favorite.
Phenomenal food is our number-one priority. It’s what we live for; it’s our reason for being.
Shareef is Part of the DNA of Miami Beach. He is one of the reasons for its resurgence—Ian Schrager
When The Forge was approaching its 40th anniversary in May 2009, owner Shareef Malnik had a vision: To take his culinary grande dame into a new era with a high-style nip-tuck. As a dynamic entrepreneur whose principal desire is to redefine the dining experience, Malnik has succeeded in creating yet another world-class bastion of food, wine and entertainment: The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar, which opened March 31, 2010.
Through family travels starting at an early age, Malnik was able to absorb and experience some of best restaurants and hotels around the world. His father’s love of fine food and wine, and background in hospitality were also influential in shaping Malnik’s young and eager palate. At 13, Malnik got his first taste of the restaurant business as a busboy at The Forge, a Miami Beach legend since the 1920s and owned by his father, Al Malnik, since 1969. Years later and with much hands-on knowledge, Shareef Malnik became proprietor of The Forge in 1991.
During the 1990s and 2000s, Malnik continued to uphold The Forge’s title as a renowned culinary institution while simultaneously attracting the trendy South Beach crowd with innovations such as the Fellini-esque Wednesday night dinner disco. “Wednesdays at The Forge” was noted as one of the most popular, longest-running dinner parties on Miami Beach, and celebrated its “Sweet 16” just before the restaurant’s closing in 2009.
"In the early '90s, it was very avant-garde to combine fine dining and having a good time," says Malnik. "It was eclectic, phenomenal, and beautiful. Now, it's passé for me to be doing that. Maybe I've grown up. Not to knock it, but I want to be a pioneer in the direction we are going. It's about access. In years gone by, it was about excess."
With the transition of the new Forge, Malnik was not interested in designing a one-dimensional restaurant; he wanted to design a living space where people can create their own worlds. At The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar, guests are able to enjoy a five-course meal with wine pairings or order a burger and a glass of Bordeaux by the fire, while reading art books or checking their Facebook – there are no rules. Malnik also paid great attention to detail in all areas, from menu to presentation, to design and architecture.
Malnik views The Forge as a living entity with a history and a future. His inspiration is the world we live in as well as the restaurant’s past. There are a few iconic design components left to pay homage, but it's a new restaurant. His goal was to build a new classic.
Malnik’s commitment to excellence is reflected in the countless awards and accolades The Forge has received from the hospitality industry and culinary media over the years. Its loyal and dedicated staff members are groomed by Shareef’s philosophy of family and tradition.
A graduate of the University of Miami’s School of Law, Malnik received his degree in 1982 and is an active board member of numerous arts and civic organizations. They include: Miami City Ballet, Miami Symphony and the Police Athletic League. Malnik has also been Gala Chairman of the highly regarded InterContinental Make-A-Wish Ball since 2005. Malnik got involved as the Gala Chairman to reinvigorate the image of the Ball and ensure its continued success. His motivation to continue his involvement comes from seeing the happiness that Make-A-Wish is able to bring to deserving children’s lives. After witnessing his younger brother’s diagnosis of Leukemia, and seeing him become eligible to receive a wish from the organization, Malnik was able to fully grasp the importance of Make-A-Wish and the hope and joy it gives both children and their families.
Malnik’s continuous support of the city of Miami has not been overlooked. Malnik was presented a Heroic Action Award from Miami’s Chief of Police for helping save a man’s life. He has also been presented the Key to Miami Beach three times for The Forge’s contributions to the city.
As an avid adventurer, Malnik has spanned the globe in search of new and exciting experiences. He’s run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, climbed the icy mountains of the Cascades, gone on an African Safari in Tanzania and tested the waters shark diving in Walker’s Cay. Many have described him as a true Renaissance man. He is a licensed helicopter pilot, runner, practitioner of ju jitsu, and an avid racer of cars and powerboats. He competed in the 1998 New York Marathon, the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona car race and the Twelve Hours of Sebring car race. Personal accolades include winning the 2nd Annual Offshore Grand Prix, a popular boating race in Miami.
You’re only as good as your last dish. The Forge is a journey of always topping that last dish.
— Dewey LoSasso
Dewey LoSasso, Executive Chef of The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar, is one of the nation’s most prolific apostles of Progressive American cuisine. With a culinary ethos that respects the past yet challenges the future, LoSasso was the natural choice to help spearhead The Forge’s rebirth.
After graduating from Culinary Institute of America, LoSasso honed his culinary skills at Sign of the Dove, one of New York City’s most acclaimed restaurants of the late 1970s. In the early 1980s he moved to South Florida and worked with legendary restaurants such as LaTour, The Pavillion Grill and the Foundlings Club, an exclusive private membership club in Miami Beach. Here, under the wing of philanthropist/art collector Micky Wolfson, LoSasso began attracting notice for his creative, original cuisine, which he dubbed Florida Progressive.
With Wolfson, LoSasso traveled extensively through Europe and beyond, conducting restaurant research, visiting vineyards and spending time in kitchens around the world. Inspired from his worldly ventures, LoSasso turned the Foundlings Club kitchen into a culinary laboratory, crafting cutting-edge cuisine born of global influences with an emphasis on natural ingredients, including the organic vegetables he grew on a small farm he shared with Wolfson. During his tenure as executive chef/beverage director, LoSasso’s innovative cuisine garnered many awards and put the club on the map as one of the best dining experiences in South Florida.
After a turn as Donatella Versace’s personal chef and food event coordinator, as well as executive chef for the Lipton Tennis Tournament (now the Sony Ericsson Open), LoSasso worked for China Grill Management where he served as executive and concept chef for Tuscan Steak in Miami. He later was relocated to New York to open additional restaurants and serve as executive chef at New York’s 950-room Hudson Hotel. Spending three years in New York, LoSasso decided to re-enter the Miami market and in May 2004, he opened North One 10 to critical acclaim and numerous awards.
With more than five years on Miami’s trendy Biscayne Corridor, LoSasso felt it was time to seek new opportunities and came across The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar’s global search for a new executive chef, for which 172 candidates applied. Owner Shareef Malnik held rounds of tastings at his home, where he challenged eight national finalists to showcase their strongest dishes. LoSasso, with his bold, clean flavors and modern approach to American cuisine, impressed Malnik and ultimately was chosen as The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar’s new executive chef.
Upon his appointment, LoSasso embarked on a 16-week process of creating The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar’s new menu, with an emphasis on farm-to-table and ocean-to-table ingredients. LoSasso studied The Forge’s menus from the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, and pays homage to some of the classic dishes, with modern interpretations.
“I like to pay attention to the way people eat,” says LoSasso. “It reflects not only individual palates, but current cultures, both culinary and social. The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar is unique in that it embraces tastes of a global community with a menu that pays respect to The Forge’s past, but takes rebel risks.”
LoSasso’s awards and accolades include:
Dewey LoSasso and his wife Dale LoSasso live in Miami Shores, FL with their daughters, Zoe Sage, 11, and Siena Hope, 8.
|Wine Spectator awards The Forge’s wine collection with its highest honors – The Grand Award and Best of Award of Excellence. The Forge also becomes the proud recipient of the prestigious Five Star Diamond Award presented by the American Academy for Hospitality Sciences in recognition of excellence in hospitality.
May 27, 2010 The ”new” Forge receives 3.5 out of four stars (Excellent)” in its first major review by The Miami Herald. Restaurant critic Rochelle Koff titles the review “Prepare to be wowed at updated Forge”
June 8, 2010 The City of Miami Beach declares June 8, 2010 as “FORGE DAY”; the veil is lifted reveling the new façade with a ribbon cutting officially re-opening. Shareef receives his fifth key to the City from Commissioner Michael Gongora.
October 30th, 2010 Shareef Malink and Chef Dewey LoSasso are honored to accept the invitation to present The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar at an official dinner at the legendary James Beard House, New York.
Miami New Times - Best Chef, Dewey Losasso 2010