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Chefs' spotlight: Marco A. Moreira

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Marco A. Moreira, executive chef and owner of The Fourth, and his chef de cuisine, Jason Hall, have come up with a fantastic menu for the spring that rivals nearby Union Square Café and Gramercy Tavern, both of which share the chefs' belief in seasonal cooking and proximity to the neighborhood's famed greenmarket.

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But let's face it: Even during the middle of the week, those are tough reservations to get, and The Fourth offers a far more relaxed atmosphere while matching the serious focus on execution of its competitors. Plus, the restaurant offers all-day dining, but it must be said that the best time to come and experience everything the restaurant has to offer is at dinner, of course. Must-try items include the asparagus and Squire Hill farm egg with fava beans, pickled onions, and Parmesan (recipe included below); whole-wheat fettuccini with nettles, fava beans, and lamb shoulder ragout; yellowfin tuna à la plancha with wax beans, fresh chickpeas, golden nugget potatoes, and black olives; and tender, perfectly cooked hearth-roasted rack of Berkshire pork, with mustard greens, dates, ramps, and horseradish.

Together, Moreira and Hall bring a wealth of impressive experience to the kitchen. Moreira has cooked at Bouley, The Mark, and Quilted Giraffe; Hall worked at Tom Colicchio's Craft, helped Michael Psilakis open three restaurants, and served as chef de cuisine at Gotham Bar & Grill before being tapped by John DeLucie to serve as executive chef of Crown Group Hospitality. Moreira also owns and operates Tocqueville Restaurant, a critically acclaimed French-American restaurant, and 15 East, a Michelin-starred modern Japanese restaurant.

Recipes by Marco A. Moreira

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