The opulent purple and red interior of Le Cirque announces the restaurant's unabashed commitment to the formal, pampered dining experience. Having spawned such culinary greats as Daniel Boulud, Rick Moonen, and Alain Sailhac (ancestors of the New York dining scene) the kitchen at legendary Le Cirque is now home to 2007 Rising Star Chef Craig Hopson. Le Cirque is among a precious few holdovers from a lost age in New York dining, owing largely to renowned restaurateur Sirio Maccioni, and is now among the standard-setting institutions of New York. Wherever a diner finds his or her place in its 16,000 square feet of space, Le Cirque is likely to return the favor in culinary turns of emphatic indulgence. Hopson has been at the helm of the establishment for years now, and with dishes like escargot with gruyère gnocchi and foie gras au torchon with strawberries and balsamic, he demonstrates his handle on the legacy of gourmet finesse for which Le Cirque is known and loved.