I had the opportunity to dine at Le Cirque during a recent trip to Las Vegas. This New York City fine dining outpost is located in the lovely 5-star Bellagio Hotel and Resort, and is one of the cornerstones of the hotel’s dining experiences. My expectations for the restaurant were quite high, but both the floor staff and kitchen fully delivered with an amazing meal and a very memorable evening.
My recommendation is to definitely go with the Le Cirque dégustation menu rather than ordering a la carte, and certainly do opt for the lovely wine pairings. You will not be disappointed. Unlike some tasting menus, you will have an element of control in the selection of your dishes while still experiencing the full range of what the chef and his staff can create. The exemplary service from the wait staff and sommelier at Le Cirque is professional and attentive without feeling at all intrusive.
Although I ordered the snow crab as my starter, I was surprised when the waiter brought a lovely amuse bouche of uni with lemon grass gelée and a fennel puree. It was sublime, as was my actual starter of snow crab with turnip, apple, avocado and pomegranate.
Sautéed foie gras with pear confit – and a salty caramel sauce – did not disappoint. It was delicate and well balanced. My only complaint is that I could easily have eaten three portions. But with a tasting menu one must be patient and pace ones self.
Although I hail from Alaska, I do like to see how chefs handle our seafood bounty. Alaskan black cod with citrus, shellfish and coconut nage was perfectly cooked and received my vote of confidence. There was a pleasant touch of acidity that perfectly counterbalanced the richness of the fish.
Less successful was the suckling pig tasting with purple potato and a truffle vinaigrette. The bit of pork loin was succulent but other porcine portions of the dish were sadly dry and over-cooked. In hindsight I wished I’d ordered the Kobe beef tenderloin enjoyed by a gent at the next table – it looked delicious, and his murmurs of approval spoke volumes.
Dinner finished with a sweet-savory pre-dessert, a dessert of fluffy chocolate soufflé and assorted petit fours, and the evening wrapped up with a lovely gift box of truffles. This was a meal that I did not want to ever see end.
Is dining at Le Cirque it expensive? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely, emphatically yes. Don’t ask questions … just do it.