Restaurant Week: Le Cirque

Nothing beats the winter chill than being indoors and trying new foods. A few friends and I went to Le Cirque to sample some French Cuisine. For those who do not know, Restaurant Week happens twice a year in New York City and participating restaurants offer lunch and dinner for a fixed price. You get to chose an appetizer, entree and dessert from a set menu.

The restaurant is located on 58th Street, between Lexington and 3rd Avenue. I’m not much for explaining design and decor, but it did not have a stuffy, pretentious feeling even though it was a very dressy place. I think the colours and the monkeys won me over. What can I say, I’m a sucker for monkeys.

Venison and Pistachio Sausage

For appetizer I ordered the Venison and Pistachio Sausage (with celery root and pickled cherries) , for entree the Bavette Steak (with parsnip purée, sweet and sour mushrooms, and watercress) and for dessert the Crème Brûlée Le Cirque. Wherever there is a French influenced restaurant and Crème Brûlée is on the menu, I’m having it!

Everything was good! The sausage was tender and yummy! Not tough, not gamey, not chewy, but melt in your mouth good.

I am not a big steak lover but I absolutely enjoyed the steak. It was tender – easy to cut into. I didn’t have to wrestle it into submission and that for me is a major plus. I dislike fighting with my food – unless it’s throwing pies at people. The dessert was what I’d refer to as a pretty good Crème Brûlée. The best part of it was the secret message waiting for me at the end.

Overall service was great. So thanks to Evelyn who organized this all.

I am in no way a food critic, nor do I ever plan on getting into that field. However, hanging out at restaurants that one would not normally go to; eating a meal with friends and having a good time with each other while judging the food served is one of the things I love about New York’s Restaurant Week! So if you’re in New York and you have the chance to experience this, then go for it! Try something new, you might like it.

a great meal + a relaxing place + lovely service = A Good Time in NYC!

Hello Rachael Ray!

About two months ago a friend emailed me asking me if I wanted to go with her to a Rachael Ray show. I hadn’t watched the show in a long time but said I would. So we set off to see the show and were turned away because there were no available seats. We were told that we could give our names again and the next time they invited us it will be with “VIP Passes” so that, if we showed up, we were guaranteed a spot.

Two months later I received another email from my friend, I said yes, and yesterday we went to see the Rachael Ray Show!

We got to the studio around 9:45 am and were told to wait for a little while. At around 10am they took us to the security line where, 20 minutes later, they checked us and let us in and up to a black room. We had some breakfast snacks – muffins, tea/coffee, water – and awaited for further instructions.

Around 11 we were ushered into the Studio and seated. The audience sat on a rotating stage, so that every now and then we would go for a ride on the giant turn table to face another part of the set. There were cameras and microphones EVERYWHERE! I suppose that’s to be expected seeing as it’s a TV show and all. Immediately I spotted my dream job … I will one day grow up to be the person who wraps and unwraps the wire behind the camera as I follow the cameraman around the set. I’m sure there is a technical name for it.

For the curious, Rachael Ray was very nice to her audience. She answered questions between segments, made fun of herself and made you feel at ease. She had personality.

Her guest on the show was Barry Manilow, whom I heard of but never listened to. I must admit that when he sang for us I turned to my friend and said, “Amazing! Can I take him home with me!?” His voice blew me away. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a man sing like that, LIVE!

She made a soup dish and a fish dish. They spoke about shampoo and shaving products and then she did some promotional segments. The audience left with a sample of some shampoo/conditioner, an eco friendly Manilow bag that included a beach towel and his newest love songs CD. We also got to snack on some organic cookies.

Unfortunately there are no pictures, you’re not allowed to take them in the studio. The show airs this Friday, for me it’s on ABC at 10am.  I love living in New York, where I get the privilege do these things. Hopefully I will do more fantastic things this year and report them on this blog (finally a use for this thing).

This has been your very first segment of Shanella does New Yorkie Things. =P