Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Le Cirque, Creme Brulee, Restaurant Week & Twitter!

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Although people sometimes laugh when I tell them I have a Twitter account, the truth of the matter is these people don't realize how much money a tweet can save you, especially if you are friends with Gael Green.  Just last week my tweeter pal Gael let me know that Le Cirque had extended their Restaurant Week $26 lunch $35 dinner menu until February 26.  Now that's what I call a friend...and that's what I call tough economic times.  $26.07 for lunch?  in New York? at Le Cirque? No way!

Gael Green

Well friends and neighbors, if you don't take advantage of this, you are crazy.  Granted, Le Cirque was never one of my favorites, although I had a marvelous pheasant risotto there a few years back, but the food is terrific and the presentation out of this world.  I much preferred La Grenouille or La Cote Basque, which were just as wonderful but a bit more subdued.  Granted, you are never going to get out of there for less than $50... remember you do have to tip and tip well, pay tax and as long as you are there, have a glass of wine, or two.  Still...that is a great price to lunch at one of New York's finest, and if I still lived there, I would be lunching there today.  Here's what you get:

Restaurant Week Winter 2010

Lunch $24.07

Dinner $35



Cannellini Bean Soup

apple, walnuts, and hon shimeiji mushrooms

Roasted Golden Beet Salad

gorgonzola mousse, pear, and spicy cashews

Sautéed Maine Shellfish

fregola Sarda and red pepper-yuzu broth

Chicken Parfait

porcini gelée and poppy seed crackers

Venison and Pistachio Sausage

celery root and pickled cherries


Diver Sea Scallops

butternut squash purée, broccolini, and bacon jus

Salmon Fillet Confit

sumac crust, jicama, and citrus broth

Berkshire Pork Belly

spicy lentil salsa and radish salad

Bavette Steak

parsnip purée, sweet and sour mushrooms, and watercress



Baba au Rhum

citrus fruits

Crème Brûlée Le Cirque

Milk Chocolate Milles Feuilles

What would you have?  I wonder how many takers for the Pork Belly!

If you are still wondering whether to go or not, look at these and think again!

Mint Gazpacho with Bacon and Mushroom Foam Topping

Burgundy Snails in Garlic Herb Butter

Terrine of Foie Gras

Brioche to go with the Foie Gras Terrine

Sea Bass Wrapped with Crunchy Potatoes

Duck Magret

Lemon Soufflé

Chocolate Soufflé

Pistachio Cream and Chocolate Cake

Strawberry Souffle

After Dinner Goodies

Now, I didn't take these pictures, wouldn't dream of bringing a camera to a restaurant, any restaurant.  This was a dinner enjoyed by a group of 6 friends who went on a gambling trip to Las Vegas and visited the restaurant during their stay.

If you are still thinking, while I'm making my reservations, here's the recipe for the creme brulee.  Have fun!  By the way, Le Cirque is also on Twitter!

Le Cirque's Creme Brulee

Serves 8


2 cups heavy cream

1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Pinch salt

4 egg yolks

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

8 teaspoons turbinado sugar, for glazing


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

In a medium saucepan cook the cream with the vanilla bean and salt over moderate heat until the surface begins to shimmer. In a large heatproof bowl, blend the egg yolks and granulated sugar with a wooden spoon. Slowly add the hot cream mixture, stirring gently. Strain the custard into a large measuring cup; skim off any bubbles.

Arrange 8 shallow 4 1/2 --inch wide ramekins in a roasting pan. Slowly pour the custard into the ramekins, filling them almost to the top. Set the roasting pan in the center of the oven and carefully pour in enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan loosely with foil and bake for about 1 hour, or until the custards are firm at the edges, but still a bit wobbly in the center.

Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.

Preheat the broiler. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet and blot the surfaces of the custards to remove any condensation. Using a small sieve, sift 2 teaspoons of the turbinado sugar over each custard in a thin, even layer. Broil the custards as close to the heat as possible until the sugar is evenly caramelized, 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve at once. If using a deeper 3/4 -cup ramekins, bake the custards for about 20 minutes longer and reduce the sugar topping to 1 teaspoon per custard.

Photo: Google


  1. It was at Le Cirque in my twenties that I first tasted the magic of creme brulee. Like many "firsts" it has been impossible to top it since then, which is not all that surprising given that I started out at the pinnacle...

  2. It's one of those desserts you keep trying, at all sorts of restaurants, but it's NEVER good enough. I think my favorite was a small bistro in Seguret, France that was infused with lavender and was oh so perfectly crisp!


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