Le Cirque Features Special Menu Created by Chef from Italy's Hotel Byron
Everyone knows that dining at the Maccioni family's Le Cirque, the legendary restaurant on Manhattan's Upper East Side, is an experience to savor. Not only is its atmosphere striking and spacious, but everything, from the impeccable service offered by its staff to its beautifully presented food is beyond compare.
For the next two days, however, customers can enjoy all the greatness that Le Cirque has to offer while also experiencing the impressive talents of Executive Chef Andrea Mattei. The 31-year-old Mattei leads the Magnolia Restaurant at the Hotel Byron in Forte Dei Marmi on the Tuscan seacoast of Italy. Mattei has created a prix fixe menu for the restaurant and will serve as its guest chef through Saturday, February 5. Mattei is seen in the photo above with Le Cirque's founder Sirio Maccioni.
Mattei was discovered by one of Sirio's sons who visited Hotel Byron last summer. "My brother, Marco, had dinner with his wife at the Magnolia Restaurant at the Hotel Byron just before they left on their honeymoon," Mauro Maccioni told Luxist. "Hotel Byron is very polished and caters to an affluent crowd. Marco liked it so much he asked my father and me if we would like to bring the chef to New York."
Mattei's four course meal begins with an antipasti course of lobster with extra virgin olive oil, fennel and a hint of licorice. It is followed by a primi course featuring cuttlefish agnolotti lightly smoked with cream of bread and cannellini beans. The secondi course is a shrimp soup with potato croquettes, ginger, caviar and leeks. The dessert course features a hazelnut amarena cherry semifreddo with fior di latte infused vanilla gelato.
The restaurant will also suggest perfect wine pairings for each of the courses (priced separately), which included Rully "La Gaudine" (a chardonnay from Burgundy), followed by Brooks pinot noir (from a single vineyard called Janus in Willamette, Oregon) and Chateau Miraval's "Pink Floyd" (a rosé from Provence). The dessert course was accompanied by a Moscato d'Asti bottled by "Braida" di Giacomo in Bologna.
"The dishes that are on the menu are from the Hotel Byron and were selected to show the American palette our cuisine," says Chef Mattei, who is on his first trip to the United States.
"Its a great experience for me, I am from a great hotel, but it is an honor to be here and I would love to come back again," says Mattei, who has been a chef since he was 14 years old.
Mattei said he was able to find all of the ingredients he needed to prepare the meal, apart from the seaweed flour he brought with him on the flight from Italy which he needed to prepare the agnolotti.
Le Cirque will offer the special four course menu for lunch and dinner today and tomorrow. The cost of the meal is $45 per person for lunch and $60 for dinner. The restaurant is also offering its regular menu as well as a special Restaurant Week menu for both lunch and dinner.
"We are lucky to have Andrea," says Mauro Maccioni. "It is nice for our kitchen staff to work with him and Andrea is excited to see our chef at work, as well."