120 W 55th St, New York, NY | Directions 1001940.763427 -73.979090
Neighborhoods: Midtown, Clinton
On a beautiful, warm day, Osteria's usually got its gelato cart out, and the coconut never disappoints me. A charming young Italian man will pronounce "cioccolato" and "nocciola" with such a strong accent that I'll look to the board to figure out what he's saying, and then I'll inevitably pick the coconut ... and one of whatever he recommends or whatever sounds weirdest.
Shady Service and Average Food – Upon arriving for restaurant week we were told by our waiter (not the host, Bruno) that there was no gas in the kitchen and that we could only order a salad, a soup or a pizza, due to their inability to heat foods. After realizing that he was not joking, the host came over and apologized.
I asked if I could have the wild boar stew that was on the prix fixe menu and he quickly told me that he said I could have a soup, NOT a stew and that a stew is different than a soup. I found this offensive as the statement was obvious but that the laws of thermal dynamics would disagree. If you can heat a soup, why can't you heat a stew? The stew/polenta was what made me choose the restaurant in the first place, so if I could not have it, I was definitely not going to spend $30 on a pizza or $20 on a salad. We told him we were going to leave. After ushering us to the door, he asked to wait a minute while he checked the kitchen. He returned 3 minutes later and the gas was magically in working order.
We sat down again. I had the baby octopus which was quite tasty. The stew / polenta was a huge letdown, almost flavorless. Maybe it was because I built it up all week in my head, but I highly doubt it. My dining companion thought it to be bland, too. He however, liked his brick chicken a lot and commented on its level of moistness two or three times while eating. Oh, and we thoroughly enjoyed our desserts. For a $30 three course meal, it's worth trying but I've much better quality food at restaurant week than at Circo.
Terrible value for the price – If you are expecting "fine dining" (such as at Morton's, Ruth's Chris, etc.), forget it. The service was poor. Our party of five had to continually ask for things. The water goblets would be completely empty, and we'd have to ask at least twice each time to have them filled. The rib-eye steak was not cooked consistently throughout. It was supposed to be medium-well, which part of it was. Part of it was also medium, and another portion of it was well-done. They did not have au jus. On a positive note, the cannolis were excellent! But, I still wouldn?t recommend eating at Osteria del Circo.
Memorable Meal – My husband and I had eaten at Circo in Las Vegas and were very impressed. We were at an event, however, so the menu items were limited. We wanted to try the restaurant again and be able to order what we wanted. We opted for the snapper for two and was pretty much the best whole fish we have ever had, and we have eaten a lot, including in Italy. Service was a little slow at first, but they made up for it throughout the meal, including serving a soup in between our app and entree that we did not order, and sorbet and cookies at the end of the meal. We sat outside, which was lovely, especially in October, so I can't speak for the ambiance inside the restaurant. I hear that their desserts are to die for, and I can say that the creme brulee that I had in Vegas was heavenly, but I was just too full to order one this time. Hopefully next time.
All in the family: The sons of Le Cirque's Sirio Marricone play ringmaster at their own Italian restaurant in midtown. – In Short
Flipping the script on the notion of "running away to join the circus," this midtown Italian restaurant is run by the sons of Le Cirque's owner Sirio Maccioni. Unsurprisingly, decor is big-top themed, with sculptures of jugglers and massively high ceilings adorned by swaths of tent-like fabric. The boys' mom Egidiana oversees the kitchen, which whips up pizzas, homemade pastas and dishes like grilled octopus with Tuscan bread salad and brick-pressed chicken. Creme brulee somersaults over from papa's place.
Fun scene! – Bedazzling to our eyes, an entertaining venue for creative decor and people watching... The food is spectacular- splitting a pizza or two as an appetizer is a must. Desserts are creative and a great topper to a solid meal.
Not What I expected. – The food and its presentation were excellent, unfortunately that was all I enjoyed.
The restaurant is small. The bar area is crammed into a small space and the dinner tables are on top of each other. I thought I was going to a trendy and special upscale restaurant and what a saw as soon as I walked in was a tourist restaurant with lots of children with their parents. The lights were very bright also killing any leftover chance for atmosphere. This place can only be reccommended for pre-theatre dining or an upscale family or tourist experience. The service was also not up to par. It took 10 minutes to place our 1st drink order.
Good food and great time! – I am shocked by the negative reviews. I had dinner a few days ago and it was great. Impeccable service, great food and a fun atmosphere. I would return for another special night out. The best part of our meal was the dessert. If you don't want to pay the price for dinner and are celebrating a birthday this is the perfect place to go for dessert.
Not for us – We went to Circo last night expecting a nice Italian meal. I had the lobster bisque and Softshell crab both of which were specials. The lobster bisque had a pasty bitter taste and the softshell crab was deep fried, served on a bunch of greens it had 0 flavor. My husband had a salad which he said was average and then pasta which was overcooked and too salty. We love to eat out but this was a big dissapointment. Even the atmosphere was not very pleasant. I am afraid that I would deffinately not recommend this restaraunt to anyone.
Amazing B-day dinner. – You see, Mort and Bibby went to this here place and had an amazing time, this is a different kind of place, a place that takes down all other places, a place that allows her to enjoy the fine cuisine, delectable wine, and cushy seat cushions. . . boo-yah!! But seriously folks, this is one helluva a place for a fancy ass bite to eat!!!!!!
Am fond of this place – No, it's not going to knock your socks off, but I've always had a warm, pleasant experience here (both lunch and dinner), though lunch is by far the better deal. Servers and maitre'd are gracious, and the Italian food is solid and hearty. Dessert is a must. There are kinks, to be sure: avoid the over-buttery polenta unless you want to clog your arteries right there in your diamond-pattern chair amidst the circus streamers. Overall, though, it's a fine place if you push the hype out of your head before you go.
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