When chef Marc Forgione accepted Frank DeCarlo’s offer last fall to take over Peasant, he resolved to maintain the Nolita institution’s defining characteristics: the familiar name; the cozy vibe; the primal, wood-fired kitchen. And as a recent dinner indicated, so far, so good. Still, it came as something of a surprise when our spaghetti carbonara materialized not in a bowl but inside a quart-size Mason jar, which the server proceeded to shake like a Hemingway daiquiri before spilling its contents onto a plate. Forgione brainstormed this novel delivery system a few years back when he was invited to cook pasta for a daunting 1,400 guests at a food-festival tribute to Jonathan Waxman. As he discovered, “it’s one of the best ways to emulsify egg yolk into the sauce and allows you to do it tableside.” A few more tweaks — supplementing the traditional guanciale with braised pig’s ears, infusing egg yolks with smoked olive oil — further distinguish the dish from what you get in Rome.
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On the menu at Peasant; $22; 194 Elizabeth St., nr. Spring St.; 212-965-9511
*A version of this article appears in the February 17, 2020, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!