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Pete the Punisher Awards Just One Star to Le Cirque

Pete Wells's reign of terror continues today with his review of aging New York institution Le Cirque. The restaurant was last reviewed in the New York Times by Frank Bruni, who gave it three stars in 2008. But today, Wells knocks Le Cirque down to just one star. Although it's a friendly, inclusive restaurant these days, Wells is not thrilled by many of the dishes that are coming out of the kitchen:

In a series of meals since the late spring, Le Cirque classics like steak au poivre, Dover sole almondine and even the famous chocolate soufflé lacked conviction. New dishes lacked rationale. Nearly everything lacked seasoning. The kitchen gave the impression that it had stopped reaching for excellence and possibly no longer remembered what that might mean.

Beef carpaccio, the chilly maroon flesh stretched out below a scattershot application of radish and celery slices that had started to curl, tasted of refrigeration and surrender. In what was meant to be a salad, a white flap of flavorless squid was pulled over a length of octopus leg like a shroud; it sat next to frigid white beans that were crunchy at the center.

There are a few strong dishes, like ceviche dorade and the lamb chops, and the service is still on its game. But Wells also notes: "These are not the best of times at Le Cirque, and I could never square what I'd eaten with what I'd been asked to pay for it." Singleton.
· It's Been a While, Hasn't It? [DJ]
· All Coverage of Le Cirque [~ENY~]

Le Cirque

151 East 58th Street, New York, NY 10022 Visit Website