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Cercle Rouge: Bistro? Cabaret? Cabastro?

What a shock I had when my friend and I sat down to what looked to be a fairly standard French bistro dinner, only to find that we had stumbled into some sort of part-time 1920’s inspired flapper cabaret.

Le Cercle Rouge, a traditional looking bistro in Tribeca with bright red leather banquettes, vintage French posters and aged fixtures, gives no indication that half-naked voluptuous women will be…performing for you throughout dinner. Can you imagine if you made the mistake of taking your conservative grandparents here? Or a first date? Those are already awkward enough…

The performances are cheesy, set to over-stated raunchy big band music. Women, with tassles covering their nipples and fringe everywhere, get up on an elevated bar and shimmy, shake and writhe in an attempt to be sexy. Unfortunately for them, it is just comical.

After the writhing dancers come pairs of tap dancers – very clearly amateurs hired from nearby dance schools. They put on a big plastic smile and clatter around the restaurant, dangerously close to waiters balancing trays of dishes. I kept praying for it to end.

Needless to say, the food was OK. Not astonishing, but simple and solid bistro fare. I couldn’t even tell you what I got as I was too distracted by the ridiculous circus taking place around me.

This could be fun for a bachlorette party of divorcees, but for the younger set, AVOID.

Cercle Rouge on Urbanspoon

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