Marc Forgione on Fire

He’s a Michelin-starred Iron Chef, so it could have been easy to create a menu that would intimidate people with its bold flavors and unfamiliar ingredients. Instead, Marc Forgione has felt the welcoming, open arms of his customers as they embrace his creativity, which gives him something to muse over…

“Marc Forgione has an extraordinary ability to truly concentrate and drive flavor. We have never worked with a chef who has such a bold flavor profile. Technically, Marc is a very valid chef, but his whole approach really has chops to it. When you read the American Cut menu, you quickly realize that it speaks to everyone. It’s not fluffy or pretentious; it’s a good, straight-ahead, New American steakhouse where he is able to reinterpret these classics and give them real character—specifically Marc Forgione character—to deliver something other than the conventional heart-attack steak. It makes a real impact because he uses the best products in the country, has perfect technique, and does an extraordinary job of training his staff. At the end of the day, you have equally intense flavor delivered in a different fashion. And when you go through all the dishes, right down to the sides, the flavor is so bold that it resonates with the client base. I don’t think Atlantic City has ever seen a steakhouse that looks and feels quite like American Cut: dark and sexy with Led Zeppelin playing in the background. It has real personality.” —John

“All I can do as a chef is follow my gut. And as it happened, some of the menu items that could have gone either way ended up becoming our most popular. I attribute that to the uniqueness of the dish. Take our Seafood Tasting: the custom-made double tower is not only impressive in that it takes two servers to get to the table, but it’s a unique approach to the typical plateau de fruits de mer as there is both hot and cold seafood including chili lobster, bbq baked oysters, raw oysters, shrimp cocktail, yellowfin tuna, hiramasa, and jumbo lump crab. It’s badass! And our prime 28-day, dry-aged Tomahawk Rib Eye Chop, seasoned with smoked salts and cooked in a cast-iron pan at 600 degrees in a woodburning stove, is another favorite—I think in part because it adds an indulgence to something very familiar to all of us.

The first year of any opening is an unknown, but I really feel like we connected with the local clientele. When I talk to our guests, I find a lot of them have driven in for the night from Philly or the surrounding Jersey Shore areas, like Cherry Hill and Brigantine. It’s exciting because, while we’re not the first to do a steakhouse in Atlantic City, I really believe we are offering something that is a little different at a very competitive price, in a space that is definitely not your typical establishment. We wanted to create an environment conducive not only to guys with cigars but also girls who want to come in and have a great meal and some fun cocktails. And that’s exactly what we did. It’s rock ’n’ roll, man, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So I’m extremely grateful to all our customers for our initial success!” —Chef Marc Forgione

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