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Le Cirque

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Bellanca Out at Le Cirque

Franklin Becker and Cedric Tovar are said to be candidates for his replacement.

By Daniel Maurer

Sirio-usly?

Sirio Maccioni ain't happy that his designer Adam Tihany worked with Daniel Boulud.

By Daniel Maurer

Five Chef Families

How alums of Le Cirque, Daniel, Per Se, Craft, 71 Clinton Fresh Food, and Pegu have fared throughout the city.

Le Cirque Gets on the Wine-Bar Bandwagon

As the fashion for haute cuisine falls away, the more casual wine bar has become a kind of economic savior for the city's classic high-end chefs — one reason, as we noted in our Fall Preview year, the likes of Daniel Boulud and Alain Ducasse have embraced the genre wholeheartedly. (It's easier to lure customers into wine bars, and wine is a much higher-profit item than food.) Now Le Cirque has gotten into the act, opening its new wine bar tonight. Says the restaurant’s legendary owner, Sirio Maccioni: “Our new wine lounge is a more casual side of Le Cirque, with chaise longues and where no jackets are required. We wanted to offer something, in our lounge, without all the rigueur of the dining room.” The centerpiece of the wine bar is an immense wine tower, with, according to Maccioni, “20,000 bottles of wine and the right menu to go with it.” Somehow it just doesn’t seem right to go to Le Cirque without a jacket, though — no matter how many bottles of wine they have. Le Cirque wine-bar menu Related: Grape Nuts [NYM]

Jason Kallert Carries the Le Cirque Torch

Each week, we highlight one of the city’s great — but obscure — young chefs. Name: Jason Kallert Age: 29 Restaurant: Le Cirque Background: Kallert is a CIA graduate who, after time spent under the late Patrick Clark at Tavern on the Green and Union Pacific with Rocco DiSpirito, began a long association with Le Cirque, outlasting three executive chefs: Sottha Kuhnn at the original Le Cirque, Pierre Schaedelin at Le Cirque 2000 and the current iteration of the restaurant, and his replacement, Christophe Bellanca. Self-described style: “Very simple and traditional. I’m not into too much technical stuff or using crazy Asian flavors and herbs. If garlic and thyme goes with lamb, I use garlic and thyme. I’m not as creative as some chefs. I like a classic approach.”

Momofuku Ko Hoping to Open in Two Weeks; No Malice Palace Prevails

During last night's CB3 meeting, partner Andrew Salmon would reveal only that Momofuku Ko will hit capacity at fourteen, with no waiters and with fixed menus changing daily. “You sit directly across from the cook,” Salmon told the board. He kept the “vaguely Asian” food quiet, conceding only that it would include “all local ingredients … all sustainable development.” Unfortunately, he didn’t take the time to make sure a petition was including in the application, so no motion could be passed. Projected opening date: two weeks' time!

Sirio Speaks Out on That Guy From the ‘Times’ … What Did You Say His Name Was?

Bar Martignetti
There’s an entertaining and incisive interview with Le Cirque's Sirio Maccioni at Portfolio today. Lloyd Grove presses the great man on his feelings about the New York Times critic ("Frank Bruni, if that's his name"), the firing of chef Pierre Schaedelin ("Pierre could have stayed"), and what it takes to make a restaurant work on that level in New York ("Here you need to do a minimum of $12 million a year. Otherwise we are broke"). The interview was done before the Times restored the restaurant's third star, so there's a lot of fire there. Things seem to be better now: We stopped in the other night, and Sirio's son Mario told us that after the review, “My father didn't yell at anybody for four days.” World According To…Sirio Maccioni [Portfolio via Gawker]