Le Framboise – Veuve Clicquot, Raspberry Puree
2016 Billecart-Salmon Sparkling Rose
Amuse Bouche – Rambutan, Salmon Mousse, Salmon Roe, Edible Gold
White Chocolate and Coffee, Baguette, Brioche, Bacon, Baguette, Pretzel Bread and Salted/Unsalted Butter
Hamachi – Japanese Yellowtail, Avocado, Heart of Palm, Radishes, Tangerine, Tapioca, Yuzu-Mirin Vinaigrette
La Salade d’Artichauts – Baby Artichokes, Watercress, Croutons, Pansies, Avocado, Parmesan, Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette, Perigord Black Truffle
Soup Savoyarde aux Topinambours – Savoyarde Sunchoke Soup, Wild Forest Mushrooms, Potato Tree, Cocoa, Green Tea Sable, Raclette Cheese, Perigord Black Truffle
Le Foie Gras Flambe aux Sureaux – St. Germain Flambeed Foie Gras, Sesame, Tapioca, Elderflower Gastrique
Le Risotto a la Truffe Blanche – Creamy Rice, Echire Butter, Chicken Jus, Perigord Black Truffle
Hokkaido Scallop – Daikon ‘Tagliatelle,’ Roasted Peanuts, Ginger, Thai Curry
Japanese A5 Wagyu Beef Striploin – Braised Oxtail Croquette, Marrow, King Trumpet Mushroom, Leek, Sauce Vert, Mustard Horseradish
Le Pamplemousse – Pineapple, Cinnamon, White Chocolate Sphere
Double Espresso – Ice
Chocolate Souffle – Vanilla Ice Cream
La Boule au Chocolat – Chocolate Ball, White Chocolate Ice Cream, Hazelnut Caramel Crunch
Mignardises – Salty Caramel Macaron, Pistachio Macaron, Raspberry Pate de Fruit, Strawberry Marshmallow
No stranger to the realm of ‘fine dining’ and Restaurants ranked amongst the best in the world by any number of lists, birthday dinner at Le Cirque occurred under the recent circumstances of Ivo Angelov, Wilfried Bergerhausen and team finally being awarded 5-Stars by Forbes, one of the most exclusive travel guides in the world – and one that is particularly relevant given the limited number of restaurants it awards top honors both in the United States and overseas.
Self described as “the” global authority on luxury travel, the inspectors all reportedly dining at each ranked restaurant anonymously several times before rendering a verdict, Forbes takes into account not only what is ‘on the plate’ a la Michelin, but also the overall experience as relates to memories created, something that eleven previous visits to the Bellagio’s longtime best restaurant have proven not only sustainable but better with time, a rarity to say the least considering Las Vegas’ ever volatile dining economics.
Again seated at the bar and giving Carte Blanche to the kitchen, the decision to trust Chef Bergerhausen never in question since the young man took over at an unprecedented age of twenty-eight, it was with a classic Framboise plus a glass of sparkling Rose from Charlene that the meal began just as that prior to Christmas, an amuse of Rambutan and Salmon as unlikely a pair as anything coming out of Pierre Gagnaire’s kitchens around the world, and every bit as elegant with the sweetness of the Fruit arriving early, followed by the linger of silky Mousse that is rich but not the least bit ‘fishy.’
Having already seen much of the winter menu thanks to previous visits, the Bread tray recently updated with a longer Roll described as a Baguette plus eggy Brioche loaves slightly smaller than the Pretzle, “Hamachi on the Beach” has seen an upgraded plate with black sand supporting a refreshing bowl of Yellowtail mixed with micro-Vegetables and Citrus Vinaigrette while the Baby Artichoke Salad creates more visual stimulation than ever by way of the Parmesan and Black Truffles both being added as ‘leaves’ made by a similar method to those used on the Gold Wrapped Quail served as part of the Menu Prestige.
Continuing to serve a small miracle with “Soup Savoyarde aux Topinambours,” the typically earthy Sunchoke converted into a conversation-starting Potage by way of Pickled Mushrooms, Raclette and a deep breath of Matcha, Bergerhausen’s new Duck Liver dish sees the small Steak flambéed in Eldeflower Liquor and topped with crunchy Cereal Grains atop a fragrant Gastrique, the classic Risotto using the last of the season’s Perigord Black Truffles with nothing more than creamy Rice, good Butter and a touch of Chicken Stock to create a dish that continues to define magnificence in its simplicity.
Getting interesting with Japanese Scallops, a tangle of shaved Radish with Roasted Peanuts, Ginger and Curry speaking to the Chef’s time at Joel Robuchon while still falling in line with classic technique and flavor profiles that will seem accessible to Le Cirque’s guests, a finale of Japanese A5 Wagyu Beef Striploin was every bit as good as remembered from past experiences, the Croquette bursting in the mouth much like the Pre-Dessert to follow while the ring of Marrow and Meat below it was also rich, but nicely separated from other bites by accompanying Leeks, Mushrooms and condiments.
Changing Apple to Pineapple with ‘Le Pamplemousse,’ a lighted presentation by way of the “Parisian Mule” container added a bit of intrigue to the refreshing bite, dessert came by way of two more classics, the Chocolate Souffle as tall and fluffy as ever though the Crème Anglaise was omitted for unknown reasons while “La Boule au Chocolat” came with greetings and a candle – the wish for another good year including holidays in that same seat within arm’s reach of a 5-Star Plaque to match the 5-Stars from AAA hanging above it.
FIVE STARS: Who am I to argue with Forbes? They’re just echoing what myself and others have been saying for years.
RECOMMENDED: White Chocolate Coffee Bread, Soup Savoyarde aux Topinambours, Le Risotto a la Truffe Blanche, Hokkaido Scallop, Chocolate Souffle, La Boule au Chocolat.
AVOID: Not fond of Mustard nor Horseradish, the condiment is probably best skipped for anyone harboring similar feelings.
TIP: Spring Menu soon.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.