To anoint its 40th anniversary, famed Manhattan French eatery Le Cirque is releasing a vibrant coffee-table book filled with full-color photographs, recipes and anecdotes celebrating the restaurant’s culinary and cultural prestige.
Authored by owner Sirio Maccioni and former Town & Country editor Pamela Fiori, “A Table at Le Cirque” tells the history of the restaurant from its founding in the mid-1970s through its expansion to new locations throughout New York and Las Vegas. The book also pays tribute to the Le Cirque’s A-List patrons, with snapshots of Hollywood icons, singers and world leaders—including Robert De Niro, Liza Minnelli, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and Pope John Paul II—peppered throughout. A two-page collage of napkins scribbled on by celebrities including Billy Joel, Frank Langella and Sarah Jessica Parker further evokes the combination of glamour and intimacy that has distinguished the restaurant for decades. Of course an equally big draw of the restaurant continues to be its food, and with a lineage of chefs that includes Daniel Boulud and Jacques Torres, it’s no wonder why. Legend holds that spaghetti primavera, lobster salad, tuna tartar and crème brûlée all originated at Le Cirque; the book includes recipes for these dishes and many more.
“A Table at Le Cirque” isn’t the first time the restaurant has been given the narrative treatment. Sirio Maccioni’s memoir, “Sirio: The Story of My Life and Le Cirque” offers a more personal tale of the restaurant’s rise and heydays. And the film “Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven” documented the restaurant’s controversial relocation from The Palace Hotel to the Bloomberg Tower.
Critics, particularly those in New York, have been buzzing with excitement about “A Table at Le Cirque” and its commemoration of one of the city’s culinary touchstones. The New York Post says the book “offers…the stories behind some of [Le Cirque's] most iconic culinary inventions” and observes that while many of the restaurant’s signature dishes are now “so ubiquitous on restaurant menus across the city as to elicit a jaded foodie yawn…there was a time when such menu items were new and revolutionary.” Digest NY assures that the book “will shed light on the nearly 40-year-old restaurant.” The New York Times writes that “for those who can’t afford the menu prices…this coffee-table book by Sirio Maccioni, Le Cirque’s 80-year-old creator, and Pamela Fiori offers a mouthwatering peek…behind the curtains of a restaurant that has maintained its cachet since 1974.”
Watch Sirio and his family thank their fans and patrons at the launch party for “A Table at Le Cirque.”