Let’s start out with a big sigh. I’m still stuffed from Saturday night’s meal and…it’s days later.
After many years of wanting to actually dine at Le Cirque, with little success, it finally happened last Saturday.
We used savored.com and saved 30% off of our meal - what a nice incentive to really do it up.
Preparing for LC was daunting. Reading reviews made me nervous…the dress code…the sometimes lackluster service if you’re not a VIP…being sequestered to the alleged “back-room’…etc tc etc.
We expected one of these situations..
But nope, we experienced awesomeness.
After a little back and forth, the main squeeze settled on his loafers, jeans [jeans are acceptable!], a collared shirt and a blazer [jacket required].
I decided on my staple outfit choice: black something or another.
(old broke legs)
We arrived right at 630, greeted cheerfully by Sirio’s son, Mario, and after a quick coat check, we were brought to our table: the second banquet on the right - score.
For an awkward 10 minutes or so, we sat side-by-side, trying to investigate the atmosphere without glaring…it was hard to not glare and stare and peer and look.
…waiters moving every which way, couples and 4-somes whispering over wine…ah.
Our waiter, Pablo, was very lovely and incredibly friendly. He was the captain. His waiter pals, in white coats, we’re also super attentive and very pleasant.
Within about twenty minutes, we felt a little more at ease - a sense of, “this is no big deal” came over us and we started to relax.
I ordered a Vioginer - Jaboulet and the sommelier presented the wine, I swirled and tasted, replying in what was probably a whisper; “good”. I was paranoid because I think the table next to us looked at me whenever I spoke…meh, it happens.
I decided to go for the tasting menu because why not
Calf tail and feet
Endive and celery salad, mustard, shallot vinaigrette
Braised lettuce, baby carrots, truffles
Butternut squash risotto
Roasted squab breast - option for black truffle supplement for $20
Fennel compote, zucchini, bouillabaisse jus
Minute steak bordelaise
Grilled sirloin, carrots, onion, potato, Brussels sprouts
After we sent our orders in, we received the chef’s amuse bouche: smoked salmon mousse with watercress and a toasted baguette.
(I should mention really before the amuse bouche, we were presented with the bread tray - an assortment of fancy baguettes and whatnot)
The salmon was great and we “cheated” and used our baguettes to scoop up the rest of the salmon haha.
Moments later I received the “tail and feet ” and wow.
It tasted like really awesome pulled pork or brisket. The mustard and celery were a nice pairing. The tail part reminded me of crackling - just fatty friedness.
This dish was so perfect and packed with crazy flavors: I wish I could eat everyday.
Next - not in my tasting, was tuna tartare, and again, really fantastic.
The tartare had a celery root taste in it and was super fresh. It was served with little triangle shaped toasty breads served in a warm napkin! How sweet!
At this point, I couldn’t stop grinning with giddiness.
My next dish was the ricotta gnocchi and although good, it wasn’t anything amazing.
The gnocchi basically fell apart in my mouth on contact. The sauce was brothy, like a barley soup. Overall, just okay.
Up next, the squab and risotto. It was seriously rich and creamy and delicious and every bite I said “oh man this is so good”. It may have benefited from truffles but seriously, it was just excellent the way it was.
John Dory fish came next. John Dory is a nice fish [nice man too] - fleshy, soft and firm all at the same time. It had a fennel compote with it and I don’t really dig fennel but this was good. It was almost puréed to a baby food consistency - which worked because I’m a baby, I mean, because the overpowering licorice-y flavor of fennel was almost gone.
At this point, the Senor French got his steak and he said: “butter, it tastes like butter” (in a very Charlton Heston Soylent Green voice ha).
It did taste like butter, in the best possible way. It was truly delicious.
Finally! My last course: minute steak aka cube steak. It too tasted like butter except it was much, much richer. The vegetables tasted like butter. Butter, butter, butter….
I was too stuffed to really enjoy this last course - I just wanted my bed and maybe a nightcap…wait was Le Cirque reading my mind?
After the last dish was taking away, Pablo came to the table with the dessert menus.
Stuffed. Soooo stuffed I didn’t even want to punish myself by having some rice krispie treat ice cream peanut butter candy bar thing [say that 67 times fast].
But Pablo insisted. Pablo knew I could push through the insane stuffedness. Pablo was a smart man.
He said “I’ll bring you both something nice”. Okay fine! Fine, bring it on.
Moments later we received an overflowing chocolate souffle and a berry Napoleon. We also ordered some coffees but a sort mixup occurred and they came later that they should have, so Pablo’s buddy brought us some sort of dessert ice wine/grappa something or another.
I ate way too much souffle…probably a 1/4 of it was consumed in moments. Moments!
Pablo then brought over their end of dinner “petit fours” and the plate was filled with macaroons, candied lemons and limes, Madelines and moon candies aka chocolate almonds dusted in glold.
The check came and the discount was applied (no awkward “Oh My Words! Where’s the discount?!”) and then after the bill was paid I received a little trinket box with two little chocolates inside, for a keepsake. Que bueno!
We got up - somehow, and wobbled over to the cafe. I like matchbooks (pyro?) so I grabbed two and then proceeded to blankly stare at the wine tower. I was staring - probably - because I was out of it and also because it was cool (it was cool, I think…).
We finally got the strength to leave, with lots of “goodbyes” and even a goodbye from Pablo, who exited the restaurant to make sure he said goodbye, we had a truly amazing dinner.
Overall - wow. It was nothing like the reviews of cold shoulders…nope…only warm, niceness! Warm, gluttonous niceness.
I’d like to pretend that I’ll return but I don’t want to ruin my sweet memories of this meal. Memories.