Quite unexpectedly, there’s no circus theme at Le Cirque. There is, however, “French cuisine with a twist of Italian flair”.
Unlike the New York original, which boasts a lavish, big top-style ceiling, the décor at The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC spot is instead all white furnishings and huge windows that give a bright and airy feel.
Le Cirque was set up in New York by Sirio Maccioni in 1974 and has since expanded so much it has moved home three times. As well as this new Dubai branch, there are also locations in Las Vegas and New Delhi, showing the popularity of the restaurant.
Headed up by Spanish chef Manuel Olveira Sellar, previously chef de cuisine at 55&5th, The Grill at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi, the Dubai menu is influenced by the US version, with “fresh, light and contemporary dishes at its core”.
“Having the opportunity to work with the team in New York to develop a menu that reflects the current UAE market has been rewarding,” says Sellar. “We’ve developed some truly distinctive dishes for Dubai.”
There are plenty of on-trend options (burrata, tuna tartare), but the mainstay is classic French fare – entrecôte au poivre, canard a l’orange, and this saumon poach.
The slow-cooked Norwegian salmon is paired with sunchoke, pickled onions and a sauce vierge (chopped onion, tomatoes, olive oil and herbs) for a fresh, light dish.
Running off to join the circus might not be a viable option, but hopping in a taxi to DIFC certainly is. It’s a good one, too.
Dhs115. The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC (04 372 2444).