Beneath a canopy of red and white fabric, monkeys cross a trapeze, giraffes play instruments, and diners indulge in fine Italian cuisine. Circo takes its name seriously—which is to say, playfully. As a pair of circus performers might carry on the family act, sons Marco and Mauro Maccioni carry on the Italian cooking of Egidiana Maccioni and the legendary hospitality of her husband, Sirio, who founded culinary landmark Le Cirque.
The menu focuses on handmade pastas, pizzas, and secondi of seafood, veal, and chicken, brimming with ingredients and flavors that, though decidedly Italian, won’t be found in your average neighborhood red-sauce joint. Pyramidal pumpkin agnolotti basks in a brown-butter and amaretto crumble, chestnut pappardelle entwines with muscovy-duck ragu, celery root, and hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, and smoked salmon and capers dot the creamy base of a white pizza. For added drama, there are platters of red snapper and turbot prepared tableside for two. Filled Tuscan donuts and cannoli with blood-orange sorbet end meals on a note sweeter than a barbershop quartet’s rendition of “That’s Amore.”
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