Veuve Framboise – Veuve Cliquot Champagne, Raspberry Puree, Liqueur de Framboise
Lychees and Pearls – Beluga Gold Vodka, Lychee Puree and Pearls, Monin Lavender Liqueur, Pink Grapefruit
Brioche, White Chocolate Coffee, Wheat Baton, Salted and Unsalted Butter
Japanese Yellowtail, Hawaiian Heart of Palm, Avocado Puree, Yuzu Vinaigrette
Soft Scrambled Eggs, Asparagus, Crème Fraiche, Alba White Truffles
Parsnip Veloute, Farm Egg Confit, Wild Forest Mushrooms, Alba White Truffles
Sauteed Foie Gras, Truffle Jam, Apple Butter, Warm Brioche, Calvados Reduction
Creamy Risotto, Perigord Black Truffles
Wild Atlantic Halibut, Creamy Polenta, Chorizo, Artichoke Nuage, Alba White Truffles
Moulard Duck, Quince Puree, Seasonal Legumes, Black Currant Sauce
Pineapple and Lavender “Explosion”, Cacao Butter
Double Espresso, Ice
Soufflé au Chocolat – Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Chestnut Parfait, Roasted Pear, Cinnamon Ice Cream, Vanilla Guimauves
Les Mignardises – Pistachio Macaron, Lemon Macaron, Orange Pate de Fruit, Strawberry Marshmallow
As much a part of Christmas now as Brunch at HEXX it was as a party of two that seats were taken at Le Cirque’s Bar on December 24th, changes in the kitchen largely imperceptible as relates to the execution of a meal that showed off several new plates plus the same exemplary service and ingredients that find the intimate dining room full throughout even Las Vegas’ slowest weeks while neighbors struggle to do more than sixty covers despite a space that could double as an airline hangar.
Largely unchanged save for the Restaurant’s top toque and some Holiday decor, former Sous Chef Billy Maldonado stepping up to fill the shoes of Wilfried Bergerhausen whose reason for departure and next destination remain the source of rumors, it was moments after settling in that General Manager Ivo Angelov stopped by with Season’s Greetings plus a big smile despite the fact that 2018 will be well underway before he enjoys a day off.
Served predominantly by Ivo and a familiar female Bartender, the full holiday Reservation Book seeing several guests unfortunately turned away while others also enjoyed their dinner at one of Sin City’s most comfortable Bars, it was with Le Cirque’s classic Framboise plus the newly launched Lychee and Pearls that a toast was made, the combination of Vodka and Lavender Liqueur mingling nicely with Grapefruit Juice and Caviar-like Baubles packed in Lychee Juice infused with Alcohol.
Temporarily replacing Pretzel Bread with Bacon Cheddar Brioche, though the Bread Tray’s go-to remains the signature White Chocolate Coffee Loaf with a smear of Salted Butter, it was as Christmas Tunes played quietly overhead that the menu began by way of Hamachi served on a bed of Dry Ice with Yuzu Vinaigrette making flavors pop, the follow-up Soft Scrambled Eggs last enjoyed 364-days prior every bit as good this time with a hefty air of White Truffle greeting the nose at a distance and subtly imbuing the Custard-soft Eggs with their flavor.
Enjoying the end of Italian Truffle season hand-in-hand with early Black Perigords, the former again offered as a light grating amidst Chef Maldonado’s new Parsnip Soup that comes across thick and creamy with tiny Mushrooms helping to rein in the richness just enough, it was in the same manner that Brioche Toast was used to anchor the recently debuted Foie Gras featuring Truffle Butter and Apple Jam plus warming Apple Brandy reduction, the flavors and fragrances all nicely balanced with each assertive yet not overwhelming the others.
Continuing with another Christmas classic, the aforementioned Black Truffles served on a bed of creamy Rice in a brand new hand-blown vessel out of Germany, it was with Fish and Meat that savories came to an end, the flaky line-caught Halibut a high-wire act that somehow pulls off the pairing of Chorizo and Truffles by way of mellowing the former with Polenta while Le Cirque’s first Duck dish in several years was a welcomed surprise alongside micro-Vegetables and a tableside pour of Cassis Sauce.
Once again enjoying the Pineapple Bauble Palate Cleanser prior to Dessert, a pair of Double Espressos fortifying spirits after a relaxing meal and long day with the opening of presents set to follow, it only seemed proper that this feast should end like so many others, though in another unexpected surprise the classic Chocolate Souffle was followed by an all-new Dessert offering Cinnamon Ice Cream and Chestnut Mousse atop spiced Pears plus crispy Rice and Vanilla Marshmallows.
FIVE STARS: Still sailing along as Las Vegas’ best Restaurant under a new toque only time will tell whether Le Cirque’s Food will continue to evolve as it has in recent years, but if this particular evening is indication there is certainly no indication of anything dropping off yet.
RECOMMENDED: Lychees and Pearls, Soft Scrambled Eggs, Sauteed Foie Gras, Moulard Duck, Chocolate Souffle.
AVOID: Expecting to just walk in on a holiday…
TIP: …or expecting to just walk in on any day really. Reservations are Recommended for a reason.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.