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NY and Las Vegas import Circo Dallas opens tonight with big Italian flavors


Circo Dallas opens tonight in Uptown Dallas, bringing a taste of its New York, Italian and Las Vegas flair with it. 

The two-story space has been in the works for more than two years. Judging from a VIP preview earlier this week, it was worth the wait.

The menu is a solid mix of classic and modern Italian. The pastas are all made in house, the seafood is impeccably fresh and the cocktails, Italian-heavy wine list and desserts are both creative and worth exploring.

The kitchen will be finding its footing for a couple of weeks, but already you’ll find an excellent Bolognese sauce, splurge-worthy true Dover sole deboned tableside and a nod to one of Vegas’ best restaurants, Le Cirque, with a chocolate orb that melts to reveal dark chocolate cake inside. (There’s no better host in Las Vegas than Le Cirque GM Ivo Angelov.)

The best part? Pastas begin at just $16, says operations director Jonathan Dellatorre. Casey Bunch, the beverage director and a CBD Provisions alum, says he’s assembled a wine list with an eye on a Wine Spectator award. (An attendant pours complimentary champagne in the ladies’ restroom. Guys get nada.)

After 7 pm, the private second floor lounge welcomes restaurant guests. The upstairs includes an expansive cocktail lounge and an open air balcony that wraps around the building with expansive views of downtown. Kick off your shoes and splash into the six-inch wading pool, where plastic chairs, blue LED lighting and cocktail service will be big draws as the weather chills this fall. (Other outlets have reported that this second story includes two “resort pool.” Um, nope. In addition to this six-inch splash pool, another starts equally shallow then slopes to a three-foot depth. They’re both more for show than swim, since their glass bottoms both peer directly onto the valet’s porte cochere below.

The 120-seat Circo Dallas is the first of several Circo global locations planned by the Dallas-based White ROC ownership group, helmed by super-talented Dallas powerhouse Lauren Santagati. Circo and its forerunner, Le Cirque New York, was among the toniest, celebrity-studded restaurants in New York, run by now 86-year-old Sirio Maccioni. Maccioni and his family still direct the concepts, the best of which is Le Cirque in Las Vegas’ Bellagio Resort.  

2619 McKinney Ave., Dallas, (972) 415-4264.

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