Thursday, July 22, 2010

Le Cirque in Manhattan - Summer Restaurant Week

My husband and I always look forward to the biannual "Restaurant Week" promotion held every Winter and Summer in New York City, as we enjoy dining in establishments we never tried before, or re-visiting favorite restaurants, in order to take advantage of the promotional price of $24.07 for a three course prixe fixe lunch, or $35.00 three course prixe fixe dinner.  A record 275 restaurants are participating in NYC Restaurant Week this summer, which runs from July 12 to the 25, excluding Saturdays, and Sundays optional.

We decided to try the new Le Cirque location at One Beacon Court (151 East 58th Street), between Lexington and Third Avenue, in the elliptical glass portion of the Bloomberg Tower building. Since 1974, the restaurant has been renowned as a super-upscale site for fine dining and celebrity sightings. This is the third location for Le Cirque. Its first stood for 22 years on East 65th Street where it built its reputation as one of new York's finest restaurants. In 2006 it reopened in this location so that, according to a HBO documentary about the restaurant, owner Sirio Maccioni’s three sons could continue to attract a younger generation of rich famous patrons with the fresh new look and menu when the senior Maccioni retires.

The new 16,000 square foot space is visually pleasing with a tall ceiling intended to evoke a circus tent.

We invited our daughter and her boyfriend to accompany us for dinner, and as it turned out we all decided to try different selections for appetizer and main course.  That was a plus for me as a blogger as I could photograph each selection of the beautiful entrees! All photos will enlarge when clicked on once, and then clicked on again when they open in a new window.


 Top left: Chicken and Ramp Tortelli with a hazelnut brodo
Top right: Sweet Corn Soup with wood ear mushrooms and basil
Bottom left: Country Style Pork Terrine with vegetable salad à la grecque
Bottom right: Watermelon and Tuna Bacon with mint and lime-scented yogurt

Main Entrees

Top right: Salmon Fillet with tomato and fennel chutney, tomato–horseradish broth
Top left: Pistachio Crusted Lamb Filet with peas, mint and goat cheese
Bottom left: Sauteed Beef Medallions with portabello ‘fine tart,’ and arugula–pecorino salad
Bottom left: Brook Trout with summer beans, pickled peach and almonds

The menu was wonderful! We enjoyed each and every selection. They were perfectly presented and the flavor combinations were superb. I thought the portions were generous considering this was a prixe fixe menu, and the wait staff was very attentive even though the dining room was full. 


This was the only course that we did not get all four selections. My daughter and her boyfriend chose the Chocolate Fondant, served with caramelized banana, and salted caramel ice cream, which can be seen in the upper left of this montage. My husband and I chose the Coconut Mint Pannacotta, served with summer berries, and strawberry foam, seen in the lower right.  The other dessert selections available were Crème Brûlée Le Cirque, and Rice Pudding with apricot marmalade and almond crunch.

Of course the regular Le Cirque menu was available if desired, and prixe fixe selections may vary.  Le Cirque has extended their participation in the Restaurant Week promotion until September 3rd, and they said on their web site that they will be rotating selectons to keep patrons entertained.

We were delighted with our dinner and the total experience of Le Circque and would not hesitate to return.  If you are looking for a gold standard restaurant experience in New York City the Executive Chef of Le Cirque, Craig Hopson adds a nouvelle cuisine flair to the classical French style that won't disappoint.

I'm adding this post to Michael's "Foodie Friday" event of her blog Designs By Gollum.  Please visit her today to see her wonderful post and the links to participating blogs with all their culinary delights!

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The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, I love Le Cirque! It is my favorite restaturant in NYC. I haven't been to this location, but I have been to the first one which was DIVINE. Oh, how I envy you this visit, and what delicious food. The owner was so charming, and he was so sweet to us when we went there with a group of girls many years ago. I have longed to go back.

I have never had food that good before or since, and that includes New Orleans. The presentation, the flavor, the service... impeccable. They really did treat us like queens. I am a huge fan of this restaurant. Thank you for sharing.


Sheila :-)

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

What a grand adventure! I love dining in New York, but tend to avoid it in July and August! The offerings at Le Cirque were fabulous! How could you choose? Did you share?
Wonderul post. Makes me want to go vist!

~Cheryl said...

The food sounds and looks wonderful! I do like the building, too.

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

How wonderful to live in an area with such amazing restaurants and to be able to enjoy them for that great price!

All of the dishes looked so good. I wish I could have been there with you!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I would love to be in NYC for restaurant week! How lucky you were to dine at Le Cirque. All of the selections you showed look wonderful.

Love your opening photo!

Annesphamily said...

Pat you blog about everything so intricately. The food presentation was divine! I like to go to those special week pricing they have here in Denver. The money goes to a great cause, feeding the homeless or filling the food banks! I get to go to places I would otherwise not be able to visit. You take incredibly brilliant photos. Thank you for sharing. Hugs Anne

Maria M. Boyer said...

Uh ... yum, Pat!

Kathleen said...

It looks wonderful, Pat. My dh, the eternally thin man, would not think those portions were generous. He calls it the empty plate syndrome!
And he never gains a lb!
We ate in the city often when my son lived there, but now he lives in the burbs, so we don't get in!
I live through your eyes!

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

That restaurant looks amazing and the food is so beautiful (and I'm sure, delicious!!!). What a great idea to have restaurant week. Another blog friend wrote about that taking place in our state in Charlotte, NC. I wish they would do that here in my city. I love trying out new restaurants. Glad you all had a wonderful time. Love & blessings from NC!

steviewren said...

I think I would have had to try the rice sounds yummy! I love the old world elegance of the decor. It reminds me of the look of some of my restaurant postcards from the 40s. You have such an interesting life. I always love to read about your compared to my Wal-Mart trip today. Believe me there is no competition!

Oliag said...

I have got to see if Mr O wants to make another trip to NYC real soon! I'll take the watermelon, the lamb, and the chocolate:)

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Yummm! It looks like you had a fabulous adventure in dining...and took great photos.

You did a wonderful promo for Le Cirque!

Jacqueline said...

Absolutely loved Le Cirque, not this location though. We were embarrassed because we(my husband and I) wanted to try lots of things and then I looked over and saw Mr. Maccioni and he was trying all kinds of dishes and having my kind of experience, so we followed suit and had 4 desserts between the two of us after we finished our meal. Very very memorable. Thanks for reminding me, it was before blogging days and I wish I had taken better pics.

Trotter said...

Hi Pat! 35 USD for dinner at Le Cirque is surely worth the trip... ;))
I'm missing NYC too much... :-(

Meanwhile Blogtrotter Two has gone deeply in Sardinia... Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Old Kitty said...

What a great way for everyone to sample NYC's finest cuisine!! This is a brilliant opportunity and I wish London would do the same! Or maybe they do and I've been ignorant about it - I will so investigate!!

But back to Le Cirque - what a wonderful history behind the restaurant! I love that it really is a family affair started from scratch by Mr and Mrs Maccioni! I can't see that they should have any problems attracting anyone of any age - the food looks and and sounds amazing!! You and your family enjoyed it so that's good enough for me! I love the anecdote about the "Table in heaven" - even more amazing that Maccioni Senior had an audience with the Pope!

Thanks for sharing this - it really is a brilliant incentive to eat out and enjoy!

Take care

Anonymous said...

Wow...That is so classy!! It is now 5:42a.m. & now I am hungry!! LOL!!
What these places are doing is probably better advertising than the usual way!!
So where to next??
Have A Great Weekend!

Rettabug said...

Pat, you get to do the most wonderful adventures in your awesome city! Every item on that menu looks & sounds awesome. How fun to experiment!
I wanted to stick a spoon right into that strawberry foam...yum!

diane said...

Looks absolutely devine. My taste buds are tingling. The ambiance looks very swish too.

GrandmaK said...

My how wonderful!!!! Can just tell you had a wonderful meal!! Thank you for sharing! Cathy

Lucy said...

How fun is that! I like really nice restaurants and I'd love to see/go/eat at that one. The food must be fabulous.

Allie and Pattie said...

Oh Pat! I remember many wonderful meals at Le Cirque when I worked on Wall St. and the Macchioni family was always so sweet. Great post!
xoxo Pattie

Donna said...

What a fabulous place! Exquisite!


black eyed susans kitchen said...

Pat, Looks like you had a wonderful time. The restaurant appears to be beautiful and the meal inventive and delicious...not to mention a bargain. I noticed that they are extending this menu through Sept.3rd. I may see if I can get reservations next month. Thank you for this is lovely.

Sarah said...

Pat, I've not dined at Le Cirque, but my niece and nephew loved it when they did. It will be a must the next time I'm in NYC. Thanks for sharing this brilliant review with your special touch of perfection and amazing photos. ~ Sarah

Tracy said...

*BIG SWOON* heaven, right?! What a beautiful place and equally beautiful food... Oh, for a taste... These photo are a tease, Pat! ;o) Wow... just WOW! Thanks for taking us along--such fun photos! Happy Weekend, my friend ((HUGS))

Linda Lou said...

What a beautiful restaurant-WOW! the food looks amazing, photographed perfectly, and I am sure enjoyed by all four of you immensely-very exciting to have the opportunity to go there during Restaurant Week-thanks for sharing!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Pat, First of all, let me say how much I love your thumbnail picture....

Okay---here's my choices:
-The soup
-The Beef
-The Rice Pudding but I'd probably be too full for that--so Ill switch to the berries.
I'll be there soon... You can get us a table --and order for me please.... ha ha ha

What a neat place. I remember when you did this last year.... Such a neat way to try new places at a reasonable cost.

Thanks for sharing.

molly YEH! said...

hey! i'm going here next week (thank heavens they extended their restaurant week menu!!) everything looks good!! so glad i found your blog :-)

Linda said...

Everything looked wonderful. I haven't been to NYC in years, but next time I visit my niece in Conneticut, maybe we'll take the train in. Great photos! You have a great eye!

Riet said...

Hi Pat, that must have been wonderful. What a beautiful restaurant and lucky you it wAS priced this low.The pictures of the food and the restaurant are lovely. There is one minus, I get so hungry when I see all this beautiful food. LOL
Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

Oh My! i have never seen anything like this....leave it to NYC to have a place that bedazzles! I think I'm living in a pretty boring part of the world! lol

thanks for sharing...i'll do all of my extravagent living through you and your blog! okay!

ciao bella
creative carmelina

Proud Italian Cook said...

Now that's a nice way to spend an evening! Everything looks amazing Pat!

A 2 Z said...

Hi Pat,

This Cirque does not sound like a typical Circus...LOL The food, the architecture is all so grandiose. The prep and details are so magnificient. This has to be one of the top if not the best restaurant in New York. Thanks for sharing.


mrs. c said...

Wow, that is what I love about NYC! What a great opportunity to taste some fantastic food at a very reasonable price! I think that your selections were amazing as were your photos! Thank you once again for sharing something special about your wonderful city.

Lisa@GrandmasBriefs said...

Ah, what a lovely place to dine. Reading your post first thing in the morning, just after finishing my breakfast of cold pizza from last night, sure makes my life seem small and boring! You widen my horizons with your fabulous photos, and you place them in context oh-so well. I love your blog, Pat!

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

Oh Pat...i took in every delicious bit of i loved seeing it all.

being a "foodie" and wishing i could visit new york....this was a real treat...

just wonderful...

happy weekend

Vee said...

What delicious looking and beautifully plated food. I'm glad that you all had such a good experience again this year. Summer restaurant week is a great idea!

Annalisa said...

A wonderful and delicious post!
I could almost smell all that wonderful food just from the photos!!!
Love that place, I have never seen such a place in Italy, that's for sure!
Please keep up the good work, your posts are better than a real travel!!!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Pat - Restaurant week is a great excuse to try some of these restaurants. We ate at Le Cirque for just such an occasion too and really enjoyed it. Years ago, our daughter was friends with one of Sirio Maccioni's sons and went for a swim at their Tuscany home at the invite of a mutual friend.


Do you send in your articles to travel magazines etc. You really ought to, if you don't. They are very informative and every time I read one, I want to go to NY. I really loved the plates at La Cirque...or however you spelled that. ...didn't you? I am trying to talk my husband into a trip there.

Laura in Paris said...

I can't believe my daghter is going to miss Summer Restuarant week in NY .. she's arriving August 3 ...

Tara said...

Hi Pat

A yummy one for sure! So glad you enjoyed it!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Lisa -- I love cold pizza for breakfast. Lisa :) Most of the time dinner is plain food but we look forward to the Restaurant Week promotion to splurge and see how the other half!

Laura --some restaurants have extended the promotion until September 3rd. Tell your daughter to check the websites. I know Le Cirque and One If By Land, Two if by Sea have extended Restaurant week!

Regina said...

Wow famous Le Cirque.
Sumptuous and fabulous Pat!

Happy new week.

Vagabonde said...

This looks like a delicious meal. I had tickets to fly to Paris to visit my mother on September 12, 2001, so of course the flight was canceled and my trip too. Instead I went to New York City a couple of weeks later and the restaurants had special prices. I don’t remember the name of the restaurant I went to but the food was fabulous. They had a mousse au chocolat that was better than many I ate in Paris. New York has such great places to eat.

Sara said...

Thank you for taking us to Le Cirque. Probably the only time I will ever visit (smile)....I will have the sweet corn soup and the beef medallions please!

RNSANE said...

I have always loved dining out and, in the past, when I was working, that was something I did frequently. Now, of course, I rarely am able to do so. San Francisco is a terrific city in which to do so, with so many ethnic cuisines from which to choose and I am sure New York is the same way. Le Cirque looks fabulous and your meal had me salivating! Great photos and descriptions!