Veuve Framboise – Veuve Cliquot Champagne, Raspberry Puree, Liqueur de Framboise
Curious George – Casamigos Tequila, Monin Ginger Liqueur, Liquor 43, Fresh Lime and Sour, Jalapeno Salt Rim
Roland Garros – Ciroc Vodka, Chambord, Pineapple Juice, Louis De Sacy Rose Champagne
Brioche, Rosemary Roll, White Chocolate Coffee, Pretzel, Wheat Baton, Salted and Unsalted Butter
L’œuf – Caviar, Carrot Puree, Chamomile, Cucumber, Cilantro, Bread Crumbs
Salade de Homard – Melon Granite, Almond Milk, Raw Almonds, Lobster Tartare
Le Jardin de Printemps – English Peas, Tendrils, Garbanzo Beans, Socca, Blossoms, Wild Strawberry Mist
Pâtes de Foie Gras – Foie Gras Ravioli, Corn, Basil, Pine Nuts
Le Foie Gras Flambe aux Sureaux – St. Germain Flambeed Foie Gras, Sesame, Tapioca, Elderflower Gastrique
Loup de mer – Sea Bass, Squid Ink, Brandade, Garden Herbs
Le Joue de Veau – Braised Veal Cheek, Kohlrabi, Porcini, Chive Blossoms
Le Pre-Dessert Pineapple and Laveder “Explosion”, Cacao Butter
Glace au Chocolat Blanc – Lemon Curd, Crumble
Double Espresso – Ice
Soufflé au Chocolat – Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Les Mignardises – Chocolate Macaron, Raspberry Macaron, Lemon Macaron, Caramel Macaron, Raspberry Pate de Fruit, Strawberry Marshmallow
Take Home Chocolates
With under two-dozen tables and a guest list that remains constantly full Le Cirque at Bellagio has always been one of the city’s most exclusive dining experiences, but having truly come into its own since Wilfried Bergerhausen took the helm in late 2014 the restaurant now meets all the requirements of a ‘destination,’ the cuisine distinct and expressive while service, setting and value remain unsurpassed.
Rapidly approaching nineteen years old and managed almost every day since opening by Ivo Angelov, his charming manner and uncanny knack for recalling guests in a city of constant change often seeing travelers book their next visit even before the current meal is over, it was on Saturday night that two diners once again took seats at the semi-circular bar located in the foyer, a perfect place to see all the night’s comings and goings while also meeting with guests from near and far.
Planning this visit sort of last minute, recent travel for both the Chef and GM seeing minds refreshed and preparing for a busy Las Vegas Autumn, it was once again with Carte Blanche to the kitchen that the evening ensued, two new Cocktails enjoyed along with the classic Framboise each proving quite memorable, the Roland Garros juicy but spirit forward while Curious George comes across a bit heated thanks to the rim but smooth and citrusy on the finish.
Using napkins as place settings at the bar, the circus theme still present by way of the big top and Bread plates soon to be filled with five great choices including buttery Brioche and warm White Chocolate Coffee Bread that remains one of the city’s best complimentary Carbohydrates, it was from a laser-cut Egg that guests were invited to fish the flavors of Caviar, Cucumber and Chamomile, the natural sweetness of Carrot Custard creating an elegant layering effect much as the icy Melon Granite did in an off-menu concept riffing on Sirio Maccioni’s classic Lobster Salad.
Continuing to excel in terms of subtle flavors and hidden textures, the plating of newer dishes as elegant as anything one might see in Copenhagen or Southern France, Chef Bergerhausen’s “Secret Garden” sees a Tahini base built upon with freshly shucked Peas and crispy Bread in a tangle of Vines and Flowers, each bite a little different than the last and building from beginning to end as a pleasant lead-in to another concept dish of tiny handmade Ravioli filled with Duck Liver in a pool of steeped Corn and Pine Nuts with Basil Oil.
Happy to see the previous menu’s Foie Gras dish has not changed, “Le Foie Gras Flambe aux Sureaux” presenting a meaty Steak cooked tender in Elderflower Liquor and topped in crispy grains, course six was described by Wilfried as ‘inspired by the plate,’ and although the Salt Cod sidecar originally captured attention thanks to its brine balanced by fresh Herbs the Seabass painted black with Squid Ink was no less impressive, bites flaking off effortlessly with plenty of moisture and as perfect a piece of Fish as one will find today in Sin City.
Understandably seeing the previous jewel-box Veal temporarily retired, the comparatively low quality of Truffles at this time of year making a seasonal update appropriate, Le Cirque’s current Veal Cheek is served beneath shaved Kohlrabi with Porcini Mushrooms in a rich Demi, the sauce every bit as good as in the past with Chive Blossoms adding a subtle aromatic component that was quickly washed away by the one-bite Pineapple Pre-Dessert.
Still lacking a proper pastry Chef, an issue entirely related to kitchen space that has seen the same classics offered in one form or another for nearly two years, Chef Bergerhausen graciously opted to go off-menu once more with White Chocolate Ice Cream served atop Lemon Curd and buttery Streusel before ending the night in Mignardises and Le Cirque’s peerless Chocolate Soufflé, the Red Leather box joining a growing collection after its Dark Chocolate contents were devoured during a trip to the Bellagio Conservatory Garden.
FIVE STARS: A truly singular experience in a city of same-same Le Cirque continues to improve with each visit, the service team as familiar as ever and all the better for it while Chef Bergerhausen, at the ripe old age of thirty, continues to innovate and refine his skills as the longest tenured toque at any of the city’s top-tier French Restaurants.
RECOMMENDED: Roland Garros, Le Jardin de Printemps, Loup de mer, Le Joue de Veau, Soufflé au Chocolat.
TIP: Dark on Monday, Reservations strongly encouraged 5p-10p otherwise. Truffle Season coming soon.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.