For many New Yorkers, Le Cirque might just be a bit too “too” — too pricey, too elegant and maybe even too uptown. All this changes, however, this Tuesday when “The Feast: L.E.S. Cirque” opens for a brief run at the Hotel on Rivington.
“I don’t want it to be a facsimile of Le Cirque,” says Le Cirque executive chef Craig Hopson, who, along with Grey Goose brand ambassador Nick Mautone, is hosting the four-day pop-up. “It’s going to be fresh. We’re going downtown to do downtown food.”
This “downtown” version will feature a food and cocktail menu created by Hopson and Mautone which will be centered around a key ingredient of the night, such as lobster, watermelon, sweet corn or heirloom tomatoes. Hopson says he’s most excited about getting his hands on the watermelon. “I’m very impressed by the versatility of watermelon. It can be cooked — I’ve even marinated it in mustard to serve with pork belly. It gives nice freshness to hot food.”
Although “The Feast: L.E.S. Cirque” is just a four-day event, Hopson is still a bit cautious about his new surroundings. “I’ve done guest chef stuff, but never a pop-up,” he admits. “It’s going to be challenging to go into a new environment and execute it how I want it. But it’s fun to be doing something new.”
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