Taste

Le Cirque at Bellagio remains an elite Las Vegas experience

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The pandemic has taught several lessons to those of us who love restaurants, including a not-so-gentle reminder that we should not put off until tomorrow what we can do today. You are not promised another visit to your favorite restaurant. You are not promised a later chance to try that brilliant culinary experience you’ve been hearing about in a fancy casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

In October, one of the most celebrated restaurants in the history of dining reopened its Vegas outpost after a 19-month closure. Le Cirque has been a Bellagio fixture since the resort debuted in 1998, and its intimate, whimsical dining room and sophisticated French cuisine grew even more significant when its New York flagship shuttered in 2018. There had been plans to relocate to a new NYC location, but the double-punch of the pandemic and the April 2020 death of the legendary Sirio Maccioni have cast clouds of uncertainty. (Le Cirque also has restaurants at Leela Palace resorts in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru plus the Ritz-Carlton in Dubai.)

Though I’ve written about Vegas restaurants for nearly 20 years, I’d somehow never dined at Le Cirque until December 9, 2021—clearly, a ridiculous mistake. There were times, before and during the pandemic, when I suspected it might close and be converted into something else for Bellagio visitors. But throughout its history, Le Cirque has remained one of the Strip’s best-loved fine dining restaurants, staying relevant amid Las Vegas’ constant evolution.

Now open for dinner three nights a week with new chef Dameon Evers (Bouchon Beverly Hills, Gordon Ramsay West Hollywood, the Michelin-starred Angler in LA) at the helm and a space that absolutely sparkles, Le Cirque has to be at the top of the 2022 list for devoted Vegas diners. Evers’ menu offerings include the six-course “discovery” for $288; a vegetarian six-course menu also at $288; a full 10-course tasting for $388; and a pre-theater three-course quickie for $128. Wine pairings are available and recommended at an additional $128, or $178 for the 10-course “Le Prestige.”

Each dish was my favorite. There’s a soothing play on risotto featuring Koshihikari pearl rice, white truffles and fondue of aged comte and Parmesan. Beautifully delicate kinmedai (golden eye snapper) floats on a cloud of yogurt with flavors of lime, mint, and a subtle swarnadwipa curry spice mix. Hudson Valley foie gras torchon is impossibly light with a flaky layer of almond-hued Pain de Gênes, and Mishima ribeye brings rich umami with bordelaise sauce and smoked beet. Combining different elements on each dish is a magical experience. I need to return to try the ricotta gnudi, Hawaiian kampachi and red kuri squash velouté.

But I can’t delay, nor should you. Le Cirque Las Vegas is back, and it’s not just an amazing meal—it’s the continuation of a leading legacy in hospitality.

LE CIRQUE Bellagio, 702-693-8100. Thursday-Saturday, 5-10 p.m.

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An award-winning writer who has been living and working in Las Vegas for more than 20 years, Brock Radke covers ...

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