Amuse (bouche) yourself with this Le Cirque dish

Your plate doesn’t have to look as fancy as Le Cirque’s.
Photo: Bill Hughes

The Details

Le Cirque
Bellagio, 693-8100.
Tuesday-Sunday, 5:30-10 p.m.

At one of the Strip’s finest French restaurants, Le Cirque executive chef Gregory Pugin melds readily available seasonal ingredients with classic techniques to produce unique menu offerings. One example: the amuse bouche on the current degustation menu, one remarkable plate that combines white asparagus, Scottish smoked salmon, osetra caviar, a potato-crusted farm egg, sorrel puree and ravigote vinaigrette.

Don’t be intimidated; you can do this. To make things easier, Pugin suggests a few substitutions. A poached egg can replace the potato-crusted one, lumpfish caviar can fill in for the substantially more expensive osetra version, and if you can’t find sorrel, just double up on the spinach.

Le Cirque White Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Amuse

(serves 2)


10 oz. fresh sorrel

10 oz. fresh spinach

4 oz. grapeseed oil

½ cup champagne vinegar

2 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper

2 tbsp. minced shallots

2 tbsp. minced capers

2 tsp. Dijon-style mustard

1 cup vegetable oil

4 stalks white asparagus

2 tsp. sugar

4 slices smoked salmon

2 poached eggs

2 tsp. caviar

1 lemon


Puree sorrel, spinach, grapeseed oil and a dash of both salt and pepper in a blender. Put aside until ready to plate.

Whisk vinegar, 1 tsp. salt, pepper, shallots, capers and mustard until the salt dissolves. Add the oil in a slow, steady stream while whisking constantly. Put aside until ready to plate.

Add juice from lemon, sugar and 1 tsp. salt to pot of water. Poach white asparagus for 12 minutes. Put aside until ready to plate.

Prepare plate with sorrel puree. Wrap asparagus with smoked salmon and place upon sorrel puree. Top asparagus with poached egg and caviar.

Photo of Jim Begley

Jim Begley

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