Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dinner at American Cut

You can only imagine my excitement when I was invited to dinner at American Cut, Marc Forgione’s restaurant in the Revel Resorts. I’d yet to go to Revel, so expectations were running high. For better or worse, preconceived notions are a part of human nature. You draw from past experiences and try to fit the unfamiliar into some mold that you already know: like casino dining. It’s pretty standard across the board. You’ve tried one casino joint you’ve tried them all, right? 

http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/creativeapps/slideShow/Main.jsp;jsessionid=19D6FBA77FE9EBC4A46C9A709D37C3E9.ecom204_main?token=974226064214%3A2117702586&fbTitle=Check+out+my+photos+at+the+Kodak+Gallery&fbThumbURI=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kodakgallery.com%2Fimaging-site%2Fservices%2Fdoc%2F6160770841105%2Fjpeg%2FBG%2F.jpg%3Fp%3D5417&_requestid=65883Not so, my friends. I’ve eaten a fair share in Atlantic City and with each meal came it’s own sordid stories, some with better outcomes than others. And I can say in good conscious, American Cut is impressive. And this sordid story ended with BJs, dolled out by Chef Forgione himself. No, for real! Read on.

American Cut is a quintessential steak house: the menu offers raw, cold, and hot apps, and the steaks, sides, and sauces are all served a la carte. The chairs are large, the lights are low, and the vibe is impressive. A big-ass dominating eagle greets you in the entryway, so much so that your awe is only briefly interrupted by the sights and sounds of aging guests in sport coats belittling hostesses. The usual. 

We were seated at a table towards the rear of the restaurant, in view of the open kitchen. To my surprise, Chef Marc was not only there, but even offered up conversation and a recommendation.

“Get the Tomahawk Chop, for the table,” he said.

At his request, we chose only our entrees and he would take care of the rest.

First out was a Hiramasa Tartare with a Sechuan button, avocado, and Saratoga chips.

Hiramasa, Tuna & Shrimp
Photo by Know it All Philly

It came with directions on a a step-by-step process. First, chew up the Sechuan peppercorn: a little tingle will wake up your tongue. Next take the chip and get a scoop of the hiramasa and avocado giving your tongue an instant cooling sensation. A fun way to start. More importantly, the fish was cold, fresh and the perfect pair to the creamy avocado.

Photo by Know it All Philly
Photo by Know it All Philly
< The tuna was delish; sliced paper thin, and delicately wrapped around a golf-ball sized tomato. The shrimp > (sorry for the blurr) were submerged in a flavorful cocktail sauce. A solid rendition of a classic. 

OG 1924 Hotel Caesar Salad

Photo by Know it All Philly
Next up was the OG 1924 Hotel Caesar Salad. A work station was wheeled out table side and back to chat it up, was the chef. 

He told us that he prefers that the servers chop the salad table-side, this way, he knows that it's properly dressed. Lucky for us, he was up for a demonstration and did it himself. 

Though it looks overdressed, the creamy, zesty Caesar dressing was perfectly portioned over the fresh, crisp romaine. 
Photo by Know it All Philly

Bacon & Eggs

Photo by Know it All Philly

I'm a Philly girl. And scrapple is one thing that's close to my heart. You can call it lips and ass-holes all you'd like, but it's not gonna slow me down. Especially when doused with syrup. 

That being said, while his accent may confuse you, Forgione is from New York. And when I heard him say "mustard" in his scrapple dish description I nearly threw it in reverse. It sounded like sacrilege to me. 

Truth be told, how dare I second guess an Iron Chef because it sure was tasty! Crisp scrapple, gooey egg yolk, and that tang of mustard?! It's literally a whole new flavor combination and I'm all about it.

Next out were the BBQ Baked Oysters, the Chili Lobster with Texas Toast, and the Bone Marrow with Burgandy Escargot and a ‘James Beard Salad' which Marc explained was Beard’s favorite – parsley and onion. All were solid winners, hands down. The oysters were fun, with a kind of A-1 flavor. If I could bathe in the chili lobster broth I would. And the marrow was out of this world.
I'll let you scroll through on the food porn shots.

BBQ Baked Oysters

Photo by Know it All Philly

Chili Lobster

Photo by Know it All Philly

Bone Marrow

Photo by Know it All Philly

Photo by Know it All Philly
Being the only woman at the table, I had felt completely stereotypical ordering the 10 oz. filet topped with foie gras, but I did and was perfectly happy with my choice.

I sliced through the charred exterior to reveal a perfectly pink and juicy medium-rare filet. The foie was crisp and creamy and the red wince sauce (not pictured) that I had chosen brought all the flavors together wonderfully.

Sometimes, when I write about my food experiences and even whilst I’m enjoying eating them, I have a temporary moment of disbelief. People are starving in the world, there’s war and sorrow. And here I am quipping about the gender implications of my ordering preferences. 

Photo by Know it All PhillyWtf. This is not my beautiful life. Nah mean?
Back to the meal at hand.

Between the hen of the woods mushrooms, the beer battered onion rings, and the truffled, twice-baked parmesan potatoes, I completely forgot to try both the spinach and the corn that were ordered. But these twice-baked potatoes (see below) are absolutely not to be missed.  

Photo by Know it All Philly
Of the three men whom rounded out our party of four, each ordered a variation on a theme: one with a steak and the chili lobster, one with a steak and the bone marrow and the third, a hanger steak with foie.

When the Tomahawk chop hit the table, flaked by half a dozen sides, each settled into its own cast iron pot, visions of Fred Flintstone dancing around with a brontosaurus bone flashed through my head.

      Tomahawk Ribeye Chop

Photo by Know it All Philly

Did I mention, the Pinot Noir by the glass? There’s only the one. It’s a wonderful match to the flavors of the menu; it’s served in a small carafe and poured at the table.

The wait staff was wonderful: well spoken, attentive, and friendly. 

And to have the Chef there was an especially nice touch. He warned that they’d have to wheel us out. And they nearly did. Dessert was a meal in itself and not to be missed. 

 Mini Ice Cream Cones 

Photo by Know it All Philly

 Pineapple Cake

Photo by Know it All Philly

 Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Photo by Know it All Philly


Holy dinner: that was delish.  So get to American Cut. It's totally worth the scratch.

Oh yeah, BJs. I knew I forgot something. Dinner at American Cut isn't complete without a BJ, said Chef Marc as he passed out Banana infused Jameson, chilled with a single cube. Ice cold, very cool. 

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