Restaurants & Bars

Le Cirque, Scarpetta, Jaleo, Sage report may 6-

zippyh | May 17, 2012 02:02 PM

Le Cirque
Had the tasting menu.
Wife and I chose the same courses except for dessert.
White Asparagus, Scottish Smoked Salmon, New Potatoes Crusted Farm Egg,
Osetra Caviar, Sorrel Purée, Ravigote Vinaigrette. Enjoyed this a lot.
The egg yolk made for a nice sauce.

Sautéed Sonoma Foie Gras, White Chocolate & Raisin Brioche,
Roasted Rhubarb, Cardamom Streusel, Ibiscus & Champagne Gastrique. Enjoyed
this even though I'm not a fan of rhubarb. Foie is always good.

Chilean Sea Bass, Purple Artichoke, Grenaille Potatoes,
Chanterelles, Tomato Confit, Verbena Sauce. It was okay. Fish was perfectly
cooked but not a real memorable dish.

Honey Glazed Barbary Duck Magret, Daikon Duck Confit,
Spiced Sweet Potato, Bing Cherry au Foie Gras, Ruby Port Sauce. The sliced
duck was good but the pureed potatoes with pieces of duck confit was
awesome. The cherry injected with foie and then deep fried was pretty
good too.

There was a choice of a cheese course or sorbet. I had been thinking of
getting the cheese but our waiter suggested the sorbet since the tasting
menu is a lot of food. Glad I went with his suggestion. I think it was a
lemony sorbet served in an egg shell.

For dessert, wife had souffle. I had the chocolate sphere. It was kinda
cool the way it's presented as a sphere of chocolate and then a warm sauce
is poured on it to reveal the insides of ice cream and some crunchy stuff.

Also was served a plate of petite fours and some chocolates in a little box.
Service was exceptional. Attentive and friendly without being chummy.
Room is great with a view of the fountains. Plus there are monkey murals.

Jaleo for late dinner. Seated under the bull head.
Jamon - Just slices of jamon. Kind of expensive but tasty.
Bikini sandwich - Little pressed sandwich with ham, manchengo cheese and truffle.
Favorite dish. Would order again. Probably multiple.
Gazpacho - Okay. Good but not great.
Patatas bravas - Basically potato chips with sauce. Okay. Would not order again.
Squid with ink sauce, artichokes, and onions. - Would order again.
Carne asada with piquillo pepper - Good. Would definitely order again.
Don't remember what we had for dessert other than it had olive oil ice cream.

I remember some one saying the food from here was over salted.
I thought it was almost under salted the night we were there. The Carne asada
could have used a little salt.

Mon Ami Gabi for breakfast.
Food was meh but sitting on the patio on a perfect day made up for it.

Had the tasting menu.
When the waiter brought the bread basket, he warned us not to eat too much of it.
Good warning although I did nibble on a couple of the breads. The stromboli was good.

Duo of yellowtail and tuna. Was okay. They also brought out a little plate
of frito misto. Good but nothing to write home about.

Roasted sea scallop with cauliflower. Scallop was big and perfectly cooked. They
also brought out the polenta with mushrooms. This was outstanding. I would order
this again.

Spaghetti tomato basil & short rib agnolotti. The spaghetti was good but not life
changing. Nice thick homemade noodles. The agnolotti was good but over the top rich.
I can't imagine eating a full serving of this.

Black cod, caramelized fennel and concentrated tomatoes. It was okay. The sauce
kind of overpowered the fish. Plus we were getting pretty full by now.

Spiced duck with endive, preserved orange and cippollini. Duck was good but I didn't
like the cooked endive. And I was very full.

Chocolate cake with almond gelato. Good. Managed to choke most of it down
despite being stuffed.

Was surprised at how much we enjoyed Scarpetta. Nice bustling room with a
view of the fountains. Service was good.

Late night slice of sausage pizza from the no name pizza place several hours
later after gambling and drinking. In retrospect, that slice was probably not
needed after that Scarpetta meal but I've been wanting to try it. Plus drinking
may have influenced the decision. It was okay. I can imagine ordering a fresh
pie would be better but

The Henry for breakfast. Was okay. Huevos Rancheros here is really more like
and enchilada with eggs and ranchero sauce.

Probably the weakest dinner we had but it was still enjoyable.
We shared the poached egg and the baby octopus to start. We've had both
these dishes before. Probably should have each ordered the eggs. It's a
poached egg in thick hot potato soup with buttered brioche. Love this dish.
The baby octopus was okay. It didn't have the nice char flavor from the
last time we had it.

Next we shared the beet salad and the shaved artichoke salad. Meh. Nothing
really wrong with them but not sure I'd order either again. The granola on
the beet salad seemed like a fairly random ingredient.

My wife had the herb crusted lamb with cauliflower puree, fava beans, sugar snap
peas, and confit lamb shoulder. She liked it well enough.

I had the pork loin with spaetzle, mortadella and pickled apple.
The pork was wrapped with bacon but still seemed a bit dry. The mortadella was
a big folded up slice and seemed like a totally random ingredient.
I would not order this again.

Can't recall what we had for dessert.

Late lunch at Spago cafe before our flight home. They have pretty good pasta dishes.
Also saw Wolfgang Puck arrive while we were eating. Within the span of about an hour, we saw
Dick Butkus, Pete Rose, and Wolfgang Puck. If that's not a celebrity trifecta I don't know what is.

All in all, we had four good to great dinners. I think I'd rather go to Le Cirque
again than Robuchon although cost does influence that decision.
I'll definitely return to Scarpetta.
Would probably return to Jaleo if we're staying at the Cosmo or Bellagio.

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