Dining out: Grilled delights from Circles International Grill

September 14, 2011 Heather Chin
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When the weather is warm, the tall picture windows at eithercorner of Circles International Grill at 91st Street and ThirdAvenue sit open, inviting anyone walking by to step through itsyellow and moss green frames into a charming restaurant with a menuthat is as pleasantly expansive as it is stomach-expanding.

The atmosphere is casually formal, where a simple night out and abirthday party or other occasion would feel equally at home. Thisallows the diner to relax and the food to take center stage, whichis a good thing because the food is worth several return trips totry everything you couldn’t eat the last time.

Share a few appetizer-like grazing items and hearty salad meals,choose between a steak or pork bbq sandwich on crunchy garlicFrench bread and a thin crust grilled pizza withvegetarian-friendly toppings like pesto and roasted peppers, ordive into one of the pasta, chicken and seafood entrees like thedijonnaise or pesto salmon, the shrimp miku pasta and the steakdinner special.

Over the course of several weeks, we established that although eachdish is worth a try at least once, some of our favorites are theplump and saucy Lobster Ravioli ($8.40 grazing, $13.80 entrée), theBlackened Scallopini of Salmon Salad ($10.55), any pizza listed(from $6.25 to $7.80), and either the Filet Mignon ($19.70) or theMixed Grill ($15.35) of sausage, chicken breast, pork medallion andfilet mignon with veggies and rice/potato, served with your choiceof Cajun, BBQ, Teriyaki or Beauregard sauce, or without sauce atall.

The great things about Circles’ pizzas are that, one, they don’tlook like your typical personal pizza – instead being prepared andgrilled with the slightly dark edges and soft yet sturdy crust of ahomemade mini-pie – and two, they are full of toppings that are notskimped on. The vegetables and chicken are also roasted or sautéedbefore grilling, adding that extra touch of flavor.

Of the meatier fare, the cuts are thick and the seafood fresh, andare all cooked to order. Even the kid-size portions, like thechicken fingers ($7.05 a la carte, $8.40 with fries, $8.95 withcheese fries) are clearly real chicken, not like the stuff of fastfood and a good balance of breading and chicken.

Of the side orders, make sure to try the Cajun fries ($4.50) andthe mashed potatoes ($5.10), both homemade and full of spice andcreamy-chunkiness, respectively.

The wait staff is friendly and capable, and the manager is alwayson hand to greet you at the door and check on how your meal isgoing. Feel free to ask for the daily or seasonal specials or checkthem out yourself on the front chalkboard, and remember to saveroom for dessert – anything from Key Lime and Pecan Pie to PeachMelba, Tiramisu, Reese’s Fudge Pie and Mississippi Mud Pie.

Circles is a neighborhood institution that never fails to hit themark, whatever your appetite.

Circles International Grill

9023 Third Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11209


No lunch minimum. $10 dinner minimum.

Free delivery.

Monday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 10:45 p.m.

Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.

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