“We want our guests to feel entertained from the moment they walk through the doors and are welcomed by the maître d’,” Santagati says. After taking in the elaborate entrance, guests will walk past the elegant bar and exhibition wine cellar, glass-enclosed garde manger station working away on cold dish preparations and the dining room’s swanky seating arrangements and décor – including somehow tasteful monkey lighting fixtures. Once settled, their knowledgeable staff stands ready to answer all questions about the concept’s history, suggest wine recommendations from their close to 200-bottle selection and advise diners how to build out their meal. Their coursed menu invites patrons to order an array of small plates to get a true sampling of their offerings. There’s no grander way to start the night than with the Royal Platter: half a Maine lobster, Alaska king crab leg, jumbo prawn, east coast oysters and tuna sashimi. With premium seafood flown in every day, all their high-quality proteins are guaranteed to come out fresh. “Our Royal Platter housed with the ‘crudo’ section of our menu is truly one of a kind as it showcases the quality of ingredients one can find at Circo,” Santagati says. Made in-house with organic flours, the pasta dishes also carry that same freshness found in the seafood. The Duck Tordelli Au Jus, accompanied by butternut squash and Saba wine, balances the sweetness of the sauce with the heartiness of the ingredients all while encased in delicate pasta. The Ravioli Mama Egi, made with Buffalo ricotta cheese, spinach, butter and sage, provides that sense of warmth pasta lovers crave in their favorite dishes. Continue the night with one of their mains. Diners can choose to enjoy one of their steaks or market catches, grilled to perfection, or can select one of their well-balanced entrees. The snapper, served with fregola sarda primavera and orange saffron burre blanc, easily flakes apart while maintaining all of its creamy flavors. The Dover Sole Alla Mugnaia, served with a lemon butter sauce, proves a well-cooked fish doesn’t need to be overcomplicated to be indulgent. Finish the night with one of their classic or seasonal desserts. Sirio Maccioni popularized crème brûlée after opening his first New York location in 1974, and he soon became recognized for this luxurious sweet. Now, diners can enjoy the signature sweet and learn the secret behind its creation – the recipe is embossed on the bottom of the dish. Or enjoy a traditional Italian treat like their signature tiramisu, served in a sphere. It’s the ideal location to celebrate a special occasion or treat yourself as another great year comes to a close. Whether you come for cocktails by the bar or savor each course, each visit promises to be a spectacle of sophistication.
DEC 18 • 83
Best Of 2018