Uptown old timer Le Cirque is looking to lure new customers with a pop-up restaurant series across the US that will showcase the restaurant's brand new chef Olivier Reginensi.
Reginensi, formerly of Café Americano, Daniel, and Alain Ducasse started work at Le Cirque two weeks ago, replacing Aussie chef Craig Hopson. As it just so happens Reginensi's first job in New York was at Le Cirque, in 1993, and he says he's excited to be returning. He hopes his fans at The Americano inside the Hotel Americano (where he worked for just over two months) will follow. “it’s a very creative, young crowd,” he said, of The Americano, while current Le Cirque regulars include Martha Stewart, Woody Allen and Henry Kissinger.
For the pop-up series, Le Cirque will team with membership club specialist ClubCorp to do a more casual version of Le Cirque, and each dinner, featuring a three-course menu, will feed 200 guests. The pop-ups run March 16 through July and will be held at five locations in California, then Houston, Dallas, Chicago and Atlanta. Reginensi will work with local seasonal ingredients to create a family-style meal at each event. Every dish will include a ‘theme’ ingredient of the evening such as truffles.
The Le Cirque team is hoping the new push will bring the brand to new diners while reminding current and former clients that they haven't been put out to pasture. “It will show people this is not your dad’s Le Cirque any more.” says Carlo Mantica, Le Cirque’s co-general manager.
Meanwhile, back in the Bloomberg building, Reginensi is working on his signature dishes that will be on the menu at Le Cirque. And he says Le Cirque classics (including the flounder, est 1974; Lobster salad Le Cirque, est 1978 and Pouissin Under a Brick, est 1976) will remain and he wants to try to bring back others, including the veal shank with swiss chard and tomato (from 1994), the ravioli of ham, parsley, veal and sage jus; and the squab with foie gras and truffle terrine.