I was invited to attend a press preview of a special menu that Circo will be offering from March 17 – 21, for lunch or dinner, $49/person, celebrating kale. Circo has been playing with the idea of offering a special menu every month, rotating through seasonal items, and it’s been fun watching the program as it grows.
When offered the option of tripe (which I like) or kale salad with puntarelle and a soft poached egg, I immediately opted for the salad. I love salad, and I love poached eggs. While the menu didn’t mention the anchovy that would be on top – I actually like anchovies, so this didn’t phase me, but someone at the table seemed really disgusted by it – I thought of this as a slightly new take on a Caesar salad. The slightly bitter greens were offset nicely by the sweetness of the egg yolk and the creaminess of the cheese; though my two minor complaints are that the egg was overdone (no runny yolk, sadface), and the pieces of puntarelle – think very slender asparagus – were slightly too long to be eaten delicately and lady-like, but too short to be bothered with cutting them. Some of you may think it’s silly to complain about that, but it’s the little things, putting thought into the dish from start to finish – even once it’s no longer in your hands – that really take it over the top.
My next course, handmade pumpkin gnocchi with black kale, speck and amaretti turned out to be just as sweet as you might imagine. The kale was slightly less present in this dish, and while the delicate gnocchi were pillowy delights, it was the sauce that I returned to over and over again. Creamy, light, savory… just wonderful. I wished there was more kale in the dish, though – this was a celebration of kale, afterall.
Braised wagyu beef cheek with pumpkin puree, kale and a chianti sauce… literally melt in your mouth tender, requiring no knife – my fork slid so easily into the meat, I simply pulled off pieces to eat with the rich sauce.
Though the festival menu comes with a lemon tart that sounds fabulous – and I was really looking forward to trying it – because we were a table full of press/media, the kitchen sent out pretty much every dessert on their menu. Whatever landed in front of you was it.
Unfortunately for me, creme brulee landed in front of me. I don’t hate creme brulee… okay, I do a little bit. I was also sick and with such a large dessert in front of me, and everyone sharing, I opted out of eating any. I just took a photo.
However, one of the owners came over and was talking about the bomboloni and how amazing they are. Then his brother came and sat with us, and when I didn’t see bomboloni in front of me, I guess I exclaimed rather loudly about my lack, and he immediately told a server in Italian to please bring me out an order of bomboloni.
One filled with pastry cream, one filled with chocolate cream, alongside an espresso cup of not quite budino but a chocolate pudding that was super airy and light that I inhaled immediately. I shared the bomboloni, which were expertly fried.
Then I waddled out into the night and onwards home, super full.
Another lovely meal at Circo with fabulous conversation and company!
For full details of the menu and to make reservations, click here. The special Sagra del Cavolo Nero menu will be available from March 17 – 21, lunch or dinner, for $49/person (excluding tax, tip and beverages).
Please note that I attended this dinner courtesy of Circo’s PR (thank you!). I was under no obligation to post about it, nor did I receive any form of compensation to do so.