Greenberry's Coffee
Cafe Saint-Ex

Circle Bistro

I want to write about this while it's fresh in my mind...

I stopped by Circle Bistro tonight for an early dinner. The place wasn't very busy due to it being Halloween and we had Noah with us so we just sat at the bar. After a few drinks with their happy hour specials (half price wine glasses, beers, and cocktails), we just ordered a bunch of appetizers.

To start with, at $8, Circle Bistro's duck confit is a steal. Yum! Yum! Yum! As is the three cheese plate at $9. Go soon and try the sweet potato soup with fennel sausage and sage croutons -- the best soup I've had in a while. When Chef Cox stopped by to say hello, he told me that this wont be on the menu long (soon to be replaced by an onion soup), so go to Circle Bistro and try it now. Also, the papardelle with duck ragu...a perfect hearty dish for the fall - Love it!

When I return, I need to try the monkfish - It sounded sooooo good!



Don't let the secret out! Circle Bistros happy hour and bar menu are hands down my favorite in that area (although David Greggory is truly a close second...). The bartender Jane really tips the scale for Circle, though.


I gotta tell you--we went to Circle Bistro for our anniversary dinner Saturday night (11/18) and were sorely disappointed. None of the aspects--the ambience (weirdly yellow), service (an unknowledgeable waitress, never a refill of water, never a replacement of my knife after the appetizer) and most importantly, the food--was adequate for our tastes, and I don't think our expectations are that high. The only thing we did appreciate was our wine, the sauvignon blanc from France, but it wasn't enough to make up for the rusty meal. We should have known when we walked in on a Saturday night at 8:30, and there were so few tables occupied, that there might be a problem.

For the first course, I got the duck bolognese with pappardelle, which weirded me out. I expected a pulled duck over the pasta, but got mini- duck meatballs instead. It was okay, once I ignored the mishandling of the duck, but it was by no means anything that is worth $11. My husband got the fried oysters, which just looked like the chef's version of fried calamari. I'm not an oyster eater, but he also said that dish was just "okay."

Our dinner entrees, though, were pretty bad. I was waivering between one of the fish dishes or the steak, which sounded pretty standard. I asked the waitress about both the kingfish and the monkfish; she said the kingfish had a really powerful flavor (making it sound fishy) and the monkfish was more buttery. I knew what monkfish was like, and her descriptions really didn't help with understanding the dish. But I got the monkfish anyway, since I haven't had fish in a while. Mike got the kingfish. Mine was served in three parts on the plate, kind of like a triptych. Underneath was a thin layer of what was basically mashed potatoes, and on top, haricot vert were chopped finely so that they looked like green onions. I love haricot vert, but why make them look like something else? It surely didn't add anything to the dish; I just became frustrated that I couldn't get a whole vegetable in my bite. The monkfish, while okay, was tough, so tough that I had to struggle a little with my knife (which I had to borrow from my husband, as mentioned above)to get through it. I probably ate about 4-5 bites, but the dish wasn't that big to begin with for its exorbitant price of $23. Mike's kingfish, however, was much, much worse. For about the same price as my dish, the chef seared the fish, added a dash of fried basil and two small carrots, and poured what was basically a cup of chicken stock over the whole thing. This soup-type-liquid is supposed to be some fancy French deal, but really, Mike said it made his dish a fish soup. Why sear something to make it crunchy, only to make it soupy right afterward? Mike only ate about 4 bites of his dinner. The waitress, of course, didn't notice our dismay and didn't fill my water after I asked. Our conclusion was that the fish had been frozen and then re-cooked, or else, the chef didn't do a good job of cooking (or imagining) the dishes. We decided not to spend any more money there, and skipped dessert.

I highly discourage anyone from eating here. It is way too costly for the quality of food, but I wouldn't even be satisfied if the entrees were $10 less. It is basically a hotel restaurant, and hotel restauraunts tend to be subpar. If you're looking for a good meal, try Philadelphia. With all of the high quality food and BYOB's, you definitely won't feel ripped off.


Interesting. I was also there Saturday night (the second Saturday night in a row, by the way, that Chef Cox was absent). Everything wasn't quite as stellar as it usually is, the duck bolognese WAS kinda weird, and unlike the past 2 times I've eaten it, it did have a meatball or ground beef form. What the...Other than that it tasted pretty much like it usually did, but the portion was about half the size as usual and it was hard to get over the texture. I also had the monkfish that night and I have to say I disagree with you wholeheartedly. Either you had a really bad cut of fish or you're just unfamiliar with the texture of monkfish -- it's a meaty fish, but you shouldn't have had to use a knife on it.

Sorry you didn't have a stellar night on your anniversary.


I do not believe this


Oh my. Where to begin?

The horror of high prices for poorly prepared food is one place.

Another might be the salt. It's everywhere and on everything - in abundance.

Or another point of departure could be the duck breast. The much abused, highly touted (by the waiter), grossly over cooked, minisculely portioned duck breast. I guess they got me there didn't they????

Or how about the veal breast with sweetbreads? Salt cured, it seems. Puffy feet the next day!

Don't miss the chopped yellow, wilted Romaine with marinated anchovies redolent with the flavor (and odor) of decomposing fish. Not the nice fishy, briny experience of anchovies but rather the "these suckers have been hanging out in some gook in the back of the fridge for whoknowshowlong" kind of eau de fisheroo.

There. I feel better. Don't you dare go there. Thanks.

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