Le Cirque

$ $ $ $

For over 40 years, Le Cirque was a New York City institution -- patronized by multiple generations of Big Apple A-listers as future culinary legends rotated through its kitchens. Today, the Bellagio incarnation is the last outpost of the storied brand. And more than two decades after opening its doors, it remains a timeless gold standard for formal French cuisine, and one of the most “fun” fine dining venues ever created. That may be why a diverse group of pros recommended it in multiple categories, and celebrity chef Rick Moonen (who once cooked at Le Cirque New York) chose to celebrate his wedding here.

The restaurant’s name means “The Circus,” and the whimsical Adam Tihany-designed dining room pays homage to that theme with its tent-like ceiling and paintings of performing monkeys on the walls. Just out the windows, the Fountains of Bellagio dance throughout the night. Yet the star attraction here will always be the cuisine, with new chef Dameon Evers putting his personal touches on some of the restaurant’s most beloved classic dishes. Prepare for a long evening however-- as a la carte dining has been eliminated in favor of a tasting-menu-only format. (A shorter, pre-theater menu is available.)

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