(between Lexington Ave & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10022
Neighborhood: Midtown East
About Le Cirque
Le Cirque has been mentioned on TV shows like Sex and the City, but long before that it was the place to be, even in the ’80s. Now Le Cirque has become a New York City institution of sorts with power players, folks celebrating anniversaries and graduations. Le Cirque is definitely a swanky joint, maybe one of the swankiest in town, but the food is top notch and ranks with some of the best food in the country. Food editors and critics favor Le Cirque because the food hasn’t changed much in the past two decades, but that isn’t a bad thing. It means the restaurant is dedicated to quality and doing the best French food they can, versus venturing off into trying new territory.
What to Order
Le Cirque is a French restaurant. Even people who aren’t familiar with French food are usually fans of it because it’s light, but has creamy sauces and at Le Cirque, it’s always fresh.
First let’s talk appetizers. The slow cooked egg over sweetbread is winning appetizer that is loved by many people, even those who have been to Le Cirque multiple times. The egg yolk is runny and delicious when broken over the sweetbread, giving you a new spin on French toast. The idea isn’t the exact same as French toast, but if you’re a fan of that French American favorite, you’re sure to love this appetizer. The artisanal pasta with butternut squash is also delicious and just the right light fare to kick off a French meal. The sauce is ultra creamy, but not too rich.
The pork belly with lentils is French comfort food at its finest. The pork belly is tender with just enough fat to make it juicy, but not so much that you feel ripped off paying the pricey cost. The lentils are fresh and add just enough texture to the dish. The hake (which is a dense fish similar to cod) is known for its sauce Grenbloise (lemon and capers) and served alongside olive oil smashed potatoes. See the balance of food in French dishes? There’s definitely some fat in the dishes, but they aren’t the heavy food you may think of when thinking of an extravagant restaurant. Keep in mind that if you come here during Restaurant Week, you will have a limited range of items to choose from, but we have mentioned those that are on both the regular menu and part of the Restaurant Week offerings.
It’s Le Cirque. The name alone implies New York City nightlife and glamour and the prices reflect that. Entrees start at $30 and go up from there. If you’re going to do appetizers, entrees, desserts and drinks, expect to have a bill that’s at least $200 for two people. Large parties have been known to rack up bills of $1000 without blinking twice or stuffing themselves. It’s the price you pay for an experience that has become a New Yorker’s rite of passage.