Shareef is Part of the DNA of Miami Beach. He is one of the reasons for its resurgence
The Food is as great as the Atmosphere and Shareef is just GREAT!
Phenomenal food is our number-one priority. It’s what we live for; it’s our reason for being.
When The Forge was approaching its 40th anniversary in May 2009, owner Shareef Malnik had a vision: To take his culinary grande dame into a new era with a high-style nip-tuck. As a dynamic entrepreneur whose principal desire is to redefine the dining experience, Malnik has succeeded in creating yet another world-class bastion of food, wine and entertainment: The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar, which opened March 31, 2010.
Through family travels starting at an early age, Malnik was able to absorb and experience some of best restaurants and hotels around the world. His father’s love of fine food and wine, and background in hospitality were also influential in shaping Malnik’s young and eager palate. At 13, Malnik got his first taste of the restaurant business as a busboy at The Forge, a Miami Beach legend since the 1920s and owned by his father, Al Malnik, since 1969. Years later and with much hands-on knowledge, Shareef Malnik became proprietor of The Forge in 1991.
During the 1990s and 2000s, Malnik continued to uphold The Forge’s title as a renowned culinary institution while simultaneously attracting the trendy South Beach crowd with innovations such as the Fellini-esque Wednesday night dinner disco. “Wednesdays at The Forge” was noted as one of the most popular, longest-running dinner parties on Miami Beach, and celebrated its “Sweet 16” just before the restaurant’s closing in 2009.
"In the early '90s, it was very avant-garde to combine fine dining and having a good time," says Malnik. "It was eclectic, phenomenal, and beautiful. Now, it's passé for me to be doing that. Maybe I've grown up. Not to knock it, but I want to be a pioneer in the direction we are going. It's about access. In years gone by, it was about excess."
With the transition of the new Forge, Malnik was not interested in designing a one-dimensional restaurant; he wanted to design a living space where people can create their own worlds. At The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar, guests are able to enjoy a five-course meal with wine pairings or order a burger and a glass of Bordeaux by the fire, while reading art books or checking their Facebook – there are no rules. Malnik also paid great attention to detail in all areas, from menu to presentation, to design and architecture.
Malnik views The Forge as a living entity with a history and a future. His inspiration is the world we live in as well as the restaurant’s past. There are a few iconic design components left to pay homage, but it's a new restaurant. His goal was to build a new classic.
Malnik’s commitment to excellence is reflected in the countless awards and accolades The Forge has received from the hospitality industry and culinary media over the years. Its loyal and dedicated staff members are groomed by Shareef’s philosophy of family and tradition.
A graduate of the University of Miami’s School of Law, Malnik received his degree in 1982 and is an active board member of numerous arts and civic organizations. They include: Miami City Ballet, Miami Symphony and the Police Athletic League. Malnik has also been Gala Chairman of the highly regarded InterContinental Make-A-Wish Ball since 2005. Malnik got involved as the Gala Chairman to reinvigorate the image of the Ball and ensure its continued success. His motivation to continue his involvement comes from seeing the happiness that Make-A-Wish is able to bring to deserving children’s lives. After witnessing his younger brother’s diagnosis of Leukemia, and seeing him become eligible to receive a wish from the organization, Malnik was able to fully grasp the importance of Make-A-Wish and the hope and joy it gives both children and their families.
Malnik’s continuous support of the city of Miami has not been overlooked. Malnik was presented a Heroic Action Award from Miami’s Chief of Police for helping save a man’s life. He has also been presented the Key to Miami Beach three times for The Forge’s contributions to the city.
As an avid adventurer, Malnik has spanned the globe in search of new and exciting experiences. He’s run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, climbed the icy mountains of the Cascades, gone on an African Safari in Tanzania and tested the waters shark diving in Walker’s Cay. Many have described him as a true Renaissance man. He is a licensed helicopter pilot, runner, practitioner of ju jitsu, and an avid racer of cars and powerboats. He competed in the 1998 New York Marathon, the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona car race and the Twelve Hours of Sebring car race. Personal accolades include winning the 2nd Annual Offshore Grand Prix, a popular boating race in Miami.
Shareef resides in Miami Beach, FL.