Note: Sorry for the late post, schoolwork is neverending as always… RW Winter 2011 is now over, although some places offer extended prix fixe menus through the month!
Restaurant Week Winter 2011: Le Cirque
Always frugal minded, trying to get the most bang for my buck during Restaurant Week (link), I booked a table for two at Le Cirque for Friday evening, a highly acclaimed upscale French restaurant in Midtown East (you can read more about its history here).
For a jacket-and-tie required establishment, I was pleasantly surprised at the courteous (although friendly would be pushing it) service—I may have had my LBD and heels on, and the bf his black blazer, but we weren’t fooling anyone, and were by a good decade or two the youngest customers there (the crowd being composed mostly of middle aged well-to-do couples and groups of businessmen). Even when we used the wrong plates for buttering our rolls, not much fuss was made—plates simply whisked away and replaced.
Oftentimes, RW menus tend to be limited and lacking in creativity, but Le Cirque proved otherwise, offering the customer a wider variety of choices than most, even escargot.
Overall impression? The richest meal I’ve ever eaten; manageable portion sizes prevented it from erring on heavy.
Appetizer: Escargot and Bacon Skewers on a bed of lentils (I don’t recall the actual title, but that pretty much sums it up)
•Unlike typical soft and garlicky escargot served on the shell, these were chewy, like clams, with a smoky flavor. Overall appetizer had a barbeque-sauce sweet and sour tang. Not the biggest fan of the chunks of bacon, a bit too fatty, but then again, not the biggest fan of bacon in most occasions.
Entrée: Duck Jambonette with sweet and sour pearl onions, creamy polenta
•A cute, fat duck thigh stuffed with some sort of meat filling (sausage? More duck?). Tender and well cooked, good flavor. Sweet and sour onions tangy and tender; the most buttery, richest polenta I’ve ever encountered.
Dessert: Chocolate Fondant with Rum ice cream, caramelized bananas
•Molten chocolate cake seems to be a norm in most restaurants these days, and a RW menu standby. This one was more room temperature, but intensely chocolate-flavored, and not too sweet, in fact, barely so. Ice cream and bananas were a nice touch.
Le Cirque in one word? Rich. The food, atmosphere, and clientele… Maybe not for the everyday college student, but a great RW choice to make you feel pampered and well-fed.
If you go:
151 E 58th St
(between 3rd Ave & Lexington Ave)
New York, NY 10022
Neighborhood: Midtown East