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Cruise Experts Tell All: What Makes ‘An Evening At Le Cirque’ Special

An Evening at Le Cirque at the Pinnacle Grill is a treat on any Holland America Line cruise. Guests have been praising the menu, ambiance and service as the best at sea, and it’s no surprise with a namesake like Sirio Maccioni’s New York eatery.

On virtually every voyage, the Pinnacle Grill transforms for at least one night into a Le Cirque–like atmosphere. On those special evenings, menu offerings, wine selections, table decorations and the restaurant setting is tailored to create an authentic Le Cirque dining experience.

The Pinnacle Grill is totally transformed into a Le Cirque-like atmosphere. The team is ready to greet you!

The restaurant is transformed and the team is waiting to greet you at An Evening at Le Cirque.

In this “Cruise Experts Tell All” post, we turned to our own guests and Facebook fans to get an insider’s perspective on dining at An Evening at Le Cirque. Consensus is that it’s a wonderful experience with incredible food. Read on to see why you should book Le Cirque on your next cruise.

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What was most memorable about dining at An Evening at Le Cirque?

It’s really hard to pin it down to the “most memorable” but after several days of thinking it comes down to the food. How it is prepared, how it is presented and how it is served. Eating in the Pinnacle Grill is a totally different environment than the regular dining room. Eating there is not just a meal or dinner – it is an event. A leisurely time with the people who are dear to you. Memories for sure! — Joni Snyder

The service and ambiance was outstanding. It was a very special evening. Thank you HAL and Le Cirque. We are looking forward to another very special “Evening at Le Cirque” October 24 on our cruise from Venice. We also had the pleasure of meeting Mr. and Mrs. Maccioni on our cruise last January. They are a delightful couple and so enjoyed their presentation and their graciousness to take pictures with us. — Barbara Lagarenne

Barbara Lagarenne was lucky enough to sail with Sirio and Egidiana Maccioni, founders of the Le Cirque restaurant.

Barbara Lagarenne was lucky enough to sail with Sirio and Egidiana Maccioni, founders of the Le Cirque restaurant.

As with all things Holland America – the fabulous service. It is not just an amazing meal, it is a ballet of the way the butternut squash soup is poured around the mound of huckleberries in the center of the bowl. The way the your needs are met before you make them known. Incredible! An absolutely wonderful evening! — Sue Rosin

We sailed on the Nieuw Amsterdam in January of 2014. We loved everything about the “Evening at Le Cirque” meal we had at the Pinnacle Grill. I think my most memorable part of it was the amuse buche: fois gras with rhubarb chutney. I could have eaten a bowl of it! I loved the lobster salad. Everything about the salad was fresh and beautiful … The soup was divine. The rack of lamb was fabulous as was the chocolate souffle. Kudos all around. It was a marvelous meal, and since I don’t think I will ever dine at the real “Le Cirque,” the whimsical dishes were a nice touch that made it feel like we were really there. — Jo-Ann Langlois

What was most memorable: the excellent service and presentation of our courses. — Karen McCarter

The most memorable thing about my evening at Le Cirque was the ambiance: elegantly comfortable and exquisite cuisine. — Julie Harpigny

Guest Julie Harpigny appreciated the ambiance of Le Cirque.

Guest Julie Harpigny appreciated the ambiance of Le Cirque.

I would have to say some of the best thing about an Evening at Le Cirque are the art on the walls, the dishes and the service. Our wine steward was Joma Roma. He recommended the perfect wine for our meal. — David Podnar

What was your favorite dish at An Evening at Le Cirque?

The butternut squash soup service is wonderful. Table-side Châteaubriand plating was unexpected and fun. The last time we dined at Le Cirque had the cheese, fruit and chocolate after dinner with a brandy, it was a great finish to the evening. From the monkey dishes to the individual attention the service is first-rate. — LouAnn Landes

The cuisine at Le Cirque is deliciously  memorable and visually stunning.

The cuisine at Le Cirque is deliciously memorable and visually stunning.

Loved them all but my favorite was the butternut squash soup. — Ken and Anida Barber

My husband Robert and I enjoyed our dinner at Le Cirque aboard the Nieuw Amsterdam last January. It is very difficult to say what dish I enjoyed most as the whole meal was so delicious. First was the lobster salad. The butternut squash soup was the most outstanding soup I ever had. Next, the Chateaubriand was superb and finishing with creme brûlée, so delighted to see the creme brûlée recipe printed on the dessert dish. A very special touch. So looking forward to enjoying it again. — Barbara Lagarenne

My favorite entree was the lamb and also the creme brûlée. — Amy Bowling

The culinary team is working hard to masterfully prepare each dish.

The culinary team is working hard to masterfully prepare each dish.

What impressed you the most?

How consistent the theme was — different menus, different art, different china, truffles on our bed when we got back to the room. We loved eating breakfast at the Pinnacle Grill everyday and for a couple of other evenings, but Le Cirque night felt even more special! — Amy Bowling

The attention to detail — the little things that made the evening unique and almost magical — from the extra appetizer and dessert that we didn’t expect, to the truffles on the bed when we got back to the room. — Ken and Anida Barber

Ken and Anida Barber loved the surprise waiting for them when they returned from their cabin after their Le Cirque dinner.

Ken and Anida Barber loved the surprise waiting for them when they returned from their cabin after their Le Cirque dinner.

What would you say to someone thinking about booking?

It is so worth the extra money that you spend. Sit back and enjoy an evening of relaxation and eloquence. — Karen McCarter

Guests enjoy the whimsical decor of An Evening at Le Cirque..

Guests enjoy the whimsical decor of An Evening at Le Cirque.

My husband and I rarely make it to NYC and we have always wanted to eat at the restaurant at Le Cirque there and this was our chance to try it. On our previous HAL cruises Le Cirque hadn’t been on our ship yet. We were so very happy to discover the Veendam was the first ship with the new menu. I believe our sailing was the second service and everyone involved did a great time. So if you don’t make it to NYC often I would recommend giving Le Cirque a try. We both felt it was worth the up-charge. Have have always enjoyed all the food on HAL and we do try and make it to the Pinnacle Grill regular menu at least once. For us it gave us another dining option!!! — Joni Snyder

Joni and her husband felt the evening was enchanting and they look forward to eating at Le Cirque again.

Joni and her husband felt the evening was enchanting and they look forward to eating at Le Cirque again.

Don’t miss it and make your reservation early and do the wine pairings. We also attended a cooking class that prepared the Lobster salad and knew we had to go. — Sue Rosin

I would tell anyone considering making a reservation at Le Cirque: Do it! You won’t be disappointed. — Julie Harpigny

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If you’re looking to book An Evening at Le Cirque on your next cruise, it’s not offered every night so you can pre-book your reservations to ensure you don’t miss out.

3 Comments
  • Julie Tapley

    We sailed on a Norwegian cruise on the Ryndam in 2013. We enjoyed our meal at the Pinnacle grill on our last night. We also tried the LeCirque dining, just amazing, quality food. Even tried food we had not tasted before, e.g. starter of orange jelly with foie gras which was sensational, next was lobster tail salad, onto butternut soup. Mains were rack of lamb for me and hubbie had Chateaubriand, faultless. And of course the famous ‘creme brulee’ for dessert. Coffee and petit fours to end this divine meal.
    Do hope I can book for Le Cirque on the Volendam cruise.

  • Denise Stewart

    What is the name of that pea soup he is pouring in this picture and where can I get the recipe!! It was to die for! We went on our cruise last year and I have been trying to track the recipe down since then. Our experience was out of this world!

  • Julie

    We’re glad you liked! If you contact guestrelations@hollandamerica.com they might be able to help track down the recipe!

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