Under the Big Top

When planning our Las Vegas trip we decided that we needed to at least experience a Michelin Star restaurant. After all it is Las Vegas, known for its “go big or go home” attitude. The original Le Cirque is one of New York’s landmark restaurants, known for its luxurious elegance both when describing their atmosphere or their food.

Peter and I were joined by one of my friends, Lewis who was also in Vegas for the SEMA show. After a brisk walk from our Hotel, Vdara to Bellagio, we entered the restaurant and at once you can feel the classiness of what you would expect from Le Cirque. After a short wait for our table, we were led into the big top. This was a contrast to the New York location where it feels like you are dining under a massive table lamp. Here you truly felt that you entered into a vibrantly colour-filled circus tent! Along the east wall were windows with a view of the majestic Bellagio fountain display.

We all selected their Dégustation Menu with their wine paring, which did offer a selection of choices within it. Although I felt all the dishes I selected were superb, as I had expected, two dishes really stood out. The first was the Salade de Homard, which is Le Cirque’s signature lobster salad. If you know the carnivore that I am, you are probably wondering why I would choose a salad at all! First I must say this, I am born in the Year of the Monkey, and as such I love that one of Le Cirque’s symbolic elements in the monkey. When this salad was served, there was an image of a monkey on the bezel of the plate that was incorporated into the plating of the dish. I thought it was sheer artistic genius. Simple yet bold flavours, amazing differentiation of textures, and finished with a light yet intense black truffle vinaigrette. I could eat salads like this all day!

The second standout dish was the Braised Veal Cheeks. It was so tender that you didn’t need a knife to cut it; a light prodding with your fork was enough to separate it. I would have expected that the delicate flavour of the veal would be easily overpowered when braising it in red wine, but I was wrong. The red wine seemed to elevate the flavours in the veal. Truly this was an excellent dish!

If you’ve ever wanted to dine under an elegant circus tent and have great food and service along with it, then I suggest that you reserve an evening for Le Cirque.

Our Dégustation Menu

L’Oursin de Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Sea Urchin, Yuzu Gelée, Panna Cotta,
Fennel Cream, Osetra Caviar, Seaweed and Sesame Tuile

Salade de Homard
“Le Cirque” Lobster & Avocado Salad, Black Truffle Vinaigrette

Sancerre, Pascal Jolivet
Loire Valley, 2012

Les Langoustines Rôties et Sabayon d’Agrumes
Roasted New Zealand Langoustine, Jamón Ibérico, Asparagus,
Parmesan, Petite Mustard Greens, Citrus Sabayon, Jus de Veau

Chablis, Simonnet Febvré
Burgandy, 2012

Foie Gras Poêlé
Sautéed Foie Gras, White Chocolate and Raisin Brioche,
Pistachios, Poached Quince, Huckleberry Reduction

Tokaji, 5 Puttonyos
Royal Tokaji, Hungary, 2008

La Lotte d’Atlantique
Prosciutto Wrapped Atlantic Monk Fish, Turnip Purée, Lobster Mushroom,
Jerusalem Artichoke, Roasted Peewee Potato, Sauce Poivrade

Pinot Noir, Bethel Heights
Willamette Valley, 2010

Dégustation de Porc Berkshire
Berkshire Pork Chop, Soy Glazed Pork Belly, Chestnut Confit,
Butternut Squash Purée, Marjoram Cider Cream Sauce

La Joue de Veau au Vin Rouge
Red Wine Braised Veal Cheeks, Creamy Polenta, Thumbelina Carrots,
Baby Zucchini, Pearl Onions, Daikon, Haricots Verts, Herb Salad

Le Sughere di Frassinello
Tuscany, 2010

Camembert « Fermier »
Petit Camembert Bocage

Soufflé du Jour
Grand Marnier Soufflé

Macaron à la Mangue et Fruit de la Passion,
Sorbet à la Noix de Coco et son Croquant

Mango and Passion Fruit Macaron, Tapioca Pearls, Coconut Sorbet and Croquant

Vin Santo, S. Niccolo
Castellare, Tuscany, 2006

Le Cirque on Urbanspoon
Restaurant: Le Cirque, Bellagio
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Executive Chef: Olivier Reginensi
Website: bellagio.com/restaurants/le-cirque

Author: Jacob Ung Being Chinese born in the Philippines and raised in Canada, Jacob considers himself quite the cultural mutt. His father was a foodie, with his two joys in life being food and golf, in that order. Though his father loved Chinese cuisine, he enjoyed exploring food of different cultures. Through his father's influence, he and his brothers learned to love food, and he hopes to influence his sons as well.