Le Cirque is one of those New York City restaurants you might consider an institution. It's been around for a few decades, though it has occupied several different locations in that time. The place is a very high-end French spot tucked away in an alcove between 58th and 59th Streets. The prices make it a prime example of a place worth trying for Restaurant Week when you can get a three-course dinner for $35, cheaper than the price of a single entree, most of which fall in the mid-$40 to mid-$50 range.
My understanding when I made my reservation was that we would be eating in the dining room. When my dining companions arrived, the host made a round through the dining room, then led us to the cafe area behind the bar. We were seated at a table directly in front of a live jazz band. It was so noisy we couldn't hear each other talk. We felt slighted; we were having our own Ruth Reichl "unknown diner" experience. We should have spoken up. I regret not doing so, but at the time, it was already late in the evening and a severe snowstorm was raging outside, so we were eager to get through our meal.
The online Restaurant Week menu had listed several options for each course but it did not make note of a $5 supplement for some of them as the menu we received at the restaurant did.
Dinner at Le Cirque was an uphill course, ending on a better note than it started (the band retired for the evening about halfway through our meal). I can say I enjoyed the food for the most part, but the meal didn't blow me away enough to get me to return at regular prices.