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Le Cirque and prix fixe?

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Mom, sis, and I are making our first trip to NYC at the end of this month for a play Mom's been dying to see. We'll be staying at a hotel close to Time's Square, and we're staying for the week (M-F). Mom wants to go all out for one of our evening's meals and left me to choose a restaurant, which in and of itself can be a daunting task, considering I wouldn't know my way around Manhattan if my life depended on it. I chose LeCirque for the big meal out mainly because I know of their rep and they're more or less a NY institution. I've tried to glean some recent opinions on the board about LeCirque, but there's been nothing much posted recently. Anyone been there lately and wish to share their experience?

Also -- and I know this is going to sound awful rube of me -- but could someone explain prix fixe to me? For instance, LeCirque has a three- and four-course prix fixe menu, and one option for the four-course is wine parings for each course. I'm guessing each member of my table choose their own items from each course, but I don't want to assume and then be wrong and embarrass myself and my family. Any other light you could shed on this method of ordering would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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  1. I've not been to Le Cirque since the latest move, so can't comment on the food. In terms of the prix fixe, yes, each person can order what they like from the options given. When there is a "tasting menu" sometimes the restaurant requires that everyone at the table orders it. I'd be inclined though to try Daniel or Eleven Madison Park instead. My experiences over the years at Le Cirque tell me that if you are not "someone" or known to the restaurant, the service and general treatment can be less than great, if not off putting, whereas if you are known to the owners (as my in-laws are), you can have a great evening in terms of service.

    4 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Just realized - I think Daniel will be closed at the end of the month for vacation. Jean Georges is another option that you might want to look into.

      1. re: MMRuth

        Thanks...I heard that too about Daniel.

        If you don't order from the prix fixe menu, am I correct you can just order off the menu? The only reason I ask is because the menu I printed from menupages didn't offer individual pricing.

        1. re: sis2catbat

          Unless the restaurant also offers a "a la carte" menu from which you can order any # of dishes of your choice, you will have to order from the prix fixe menu meaning that it will be a set number of courses at a set price for the whole dinner (excluding alcohol, tax, and tips and other "add-ons" that you may be able to supplement the prix-fixe menu). Since a single price is set for all prix-fixe courses, they don't offer individual pricing.

          If I recall correctly, Le Cirque only offers prix fixe in the main dining room, but they do offer a la carte in the cafe. As for the restaurant itself, I agree with MMRuth that you can get much better food at those price points at many other restaurants, like EMP and Jean Georges that MMRuth suggested.

        2. re: MMRuth

          Highly recommend Jean George. Absolutely pleasant and delicious experience all around.

      2. I think you were having problems looking for reviews as it "Le Cirque" not "LeCirque".

        Here's one of the more recent threads: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/541874

        but all in all...there hasn't been great reviews from that place recently

        1. We were there in May and had a fantastic meal. I can't remember what the rest of the table had, but I had the Branzino which was phenomenal.

          I think you'll be fine sticking with Le Cirque as your choice.

          Atmosphere is great, our service was very good - although there was some confusion among those bussing our table. Regardless I highly recommend Le Cirque.

          1. Le Cirque's main claim to fame is tha it's a scene- but more for regulars. But generally speaking, it's not a scene where you'll see celebrities- mainly monied, long time customers of the Maccioni's. The food, while good, is nothing special, and vey expensive at that. Tghere are many other places that are a much better bet for you.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ann900

              I had a great experience. The food was awesome and the staff was polite and cordial. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in a good time out.