The famed New York City restaurant comes to Holland America; Bon voyage — and bon appetite
Le Cirque, New York City's legendary French restaurant, opened its doors in 1974. With décor mimicking a circus tent and showy high-backed booths providing privacy for celebrities and the wealthy, the acclaimed eatery was all about having a good time — and about serious, real deal, haute cuisine. Nothing has changed in that regard.
Since the '70s, the New York restaurant has relocated and offshoots have popped up in Las Vegas and beyond — including on the high seas. Since 2011, Le Cirque has served dinner onboard every Holland America cruise ship, treating passengers to a meal of a lifetime.
The Onboard Experience
To be fair, the venerable restaurant didn't exactly move to the ships. Here's how it works: One night per cruise, the line's signature steakhouse, the elegant Pinnacle Grill, transforms into Le Cirque. You will taste dishes created from recipes served at the New York City landmark, you will have the pleasure of dining on whimsical, circus-themed china and you will drink from a special wine list featuring several vintages recommended by Le Cirque.
What to Order
What's on the menu? Your four-course dinner begins with lobster salad, one of Le Cirque's most popular appetizers. There are other starter selections, together with multiple choices for each course. Appetizers are followed by soup, perhaps creamy butternut squash with huckleberries, which is ceremoniously poured into your bowl from a cast-iron kettle, right at your table. The main course may feature seared Alaskan black cod, rack of lamb or an enormous portion of chateaubriand, prepared to your liking. Though the menu changes occasionally, service is always performed with a flourish. Think of it as big-top entertainment, minus any clowning around. Delectable desserts top off your dining delights. Order the crème brûlée (another New York favorite), chocolate soufflé or a refreshing trio of sorbets.
The Price Is Right
The catch? Some cash. As a Holland America cruiser, you pay on average an extra charge of $39 per person, plus wine. Or, pay approximately $59 for dinner with wine pairings selected by the sommelier. Think that's steep? At Le Cirque, that yummy lobster salad alone will set you back approximately $35. Add tax, tip and another three courses and that $39 suddenly becomes a bargain. And you won't even need to hail a taxi to take you back to your stateroom!
Photo Credit: Holland America Line