Marc Forgione's Insight On His Restaurant Takeovers - Exclusive

Marc Forgione is no stranger to taking over restaurants. Back in 2020, he took over the popular Italian restaurant named Peasant from its previous chef, Frank DeCarlo, when he retired. With the restaurant known as a popular neighborhood staple for over 20 years, Forgione had some mighty big shoes to fill, but he went at it full swing. Today, the Nolita restaurant pays tribute to its roots with Italian cuisine that is cooked with fire and smoke, but Forgione has added his own flavor to the mix, including making his pizza out of sourdough.

Forgione is taking over yet another historic space in Greenwich Village called One Fifth. Restaurants have been filling this space since 1927, including Vince and Linda with Anthony Bourdain as the chef, and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria, which was run by Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali since 2003 and closed due to the pandemic. Now it's Forgione's turn with his version of One Fifth that recently opened this summer.

During an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, Forgione explained the challenges that come with taking over established restaurants. 

Forgione is humbled by keeping historic New York City restaurants going

Marc Forgione knows that satisfying the previous clientele of a restaurant can be a tough sell. "Whenever you take over, we'll call it an 'iconic' space that's been there for years. People come in there with expectations of continuing to please them in the way that the restaurant did before for 20 years," he said. "I'm not doing the same food as Otto."

Forgione's updated menu at One Fifth is his own creation with the help of his executive chef Robert Zwirz, combining classic Italian concepts with New York's surroundings alongside his own Italian-American family traditions. It's a move that seems to have paid off — Forgione went on to say that he's happy with the response he's been getting from patrons so far.

"I was curious to see what was going to happen with the neighbors and the regulars, but everybody has been coming in, and they're so excited that we are bringing this space back to life," Forgione said. "I think they were all really depressed when that space was closed. So was I. It's one of those perfect New York City restaurant spaces that I'm very honored and humbled to keep going."

One Fifth is open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Reservations are available via Resy, with tables held for walk-ins. To learn more, please visit One Fifth's website and follow One Fifth on Instagram.