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On Cercle Rouge and Restaurants' V-Cards

Thinking of heading to Cercle Rouge this weekend to see what all the fuss is about? Here's something that may be of interest. A particularly eloquent reader, who beat you to the punch, files an early report:

While I understand that going to a restaurant on opening night is not
dissimilar to making love to a virgin-
in that first impressions may not be
a true indication of what the future will bring with some practice- I will
give you my comments on my dinner there last night....
I was under-whelmed. Believe me, as a resident of Tribeca for nearly 10
years nothing would have made me happier than to have our very own Balthazar
but this as it turns out is clearly not the case.
The food is really average- as in average at best. The service is really average to below average. The look is sort of cheesy french bistro- almost
as if a set designer consulted there- too contrived. My two stylist friends
declared that the waiter's uniforms were straight out of the Pirates of The
Caribbean ride at Disney World.
But most importantly- with only 10-12 items on the menu all should be
excellent. None that we sampled were anything special. I had their version of
the classic bar steak-steak frites. There are at least 5 other places that
do it better that I can think of off the top of my head. The fries were
really poorly done- oily and soggy- not a great combination. Not one of us
finished our entrées - also not a good sign.
Please - do not refer or imply to your readers that this is the next or second coming of Balthazar as it is not even close.

It’s probably important to remember this is one man’s opinion, however distinct a picture it may paint. Others have weighed in and liked it. Plus, chefs like Féau have a way of getting things right, given some time. We say, go and see for yourself, especially if you’ve got a soft spot for amusement park rides...or virgins?
· Eater Inside: Cercle Rouge [~E~]