How lucky am I to have been invited to not one, but two events for Sirio Maccioni, famous restaurateur and author, in one week?
Despite having never dined at the famed restaurant, Le Cirque is an establishment/mecca that I have been familiar with my entire life. From a very young age, I was always fascinated and intrigued by the illustrious NYC dining scene. And, even though I was reading my monthly issues of Bon Appetit from my bedroom in El Paso, Texas, I was well-aware that there was not a brighter star than Le Cirque (...in fact, it's so famous, that it has its own Wikipedia link!!). So, you can imagine my excitement when I was invited to attend the book launch for Sirio Maccioni's 'A Table At Le Cirque' at...Le Cirque!
Personalized cocktail napkins for the scrumptious passed hors d'oeuvres, flowing glasses of wine, prosecco, and the open bar~
Signed copies of 'A Table At Le Cirque' available for purchase~
The who's who of the culinary and food media worlds were in attendance: Pamela Fiori, who co-authored the book, Susan Magrino, Marc Murphy, Geoffrey Zakarian, Terrance Brennan, and, his majesty, Danny Meyer...
...and this lovely woman, seated with Mr. Maccioni. While I'm not sure who she is, I have a feeling that she definitely is "someone." I aspire to be this gorgeous at her age!
**Update** Siva, one of my readers, informed me that this is Carmen Dell'Orefice, the oldest working model in the world. And it's very clear to me *why.*
As if it were even possible for an event to be more fabulous than the book launch at Le Cirque, last night's preview party for Mr. Maccioni's new Tuscan-inspired restaurant, Sirio Ristorante, was, by far, the most outstanding "food event" that I've attended, to date.
Assuming that event entry would be through the restaurant, itself, guests were instead ushered through the hotel's lobby.
This sign let guests know that they were headed in the right direction.
The lobby's stunning mezzanine was the first point of event entry. Guests were gifted with passed hors d'oeuvres and glasses of wine/prosecco.
Mr. Maccioni posed for photo after photo on the step-and-repeat...
There was a plethora of press/media in attendance...
Guests had the option of gracing the restaurant, itself, or the ballroom. I chose to first check out the ballroom...
Note the incredible fall-centric floral arrangement!
The lighting was among the best I've ever seen...
Bubbly cocktails and passed hors d'oeuvres made the rounds and, at each end of the room, there was a full-bar.
A live jazz trio played sexy French tunes. The singer was fantastic!
I walked across the mezzanine to the handsome restaurant, which was abuzz and filled with guests. The who's who of New York's high society was in attendance, including Jonathan Tisch and Mayor Bloomberg. I gawked - and admired - dressy hats, fabulous attire, bags that, easily, cost more than my yearly salary, and gems in every color of the rainbow.
Waiters, passing slightly heavier hors d'oeuvres - plus wine and prosecco, carefully made their way through the maze of impeccably-dressed attendees.
This is often referred to as "Italian Champagne," because of its never-ending string of bubbles and crisp, dry body.
I particularly fancied the risotto...
...and the meatballs.
After one too many glasses of wine and bubbly - plus a stomach filled with risotto and meatballs - I decided to call it a night. An outstanding one, at that!
Party favors were individually-wrapped disks of caramel, dipped in dark chocolate.
FYI: Sirio Ristorante opens today, 10/25/12. And, as if anyone could ever have their fill of fabulous, my friend - and birthday girl - Tammi and I are headed to there tonight for cocktails and snacks at the bar. Why not?
To conclude: 15-20 years ago, this dreamy, head-in-the-clouds teenager would have been in utter disbelief if you told her that her future "grown up" life would involve attending - and writing about - events, book launches, and restaurant openings. In New York City. Involving many of the characters she grew up worshiping. Why? Because these opportunities and experiences are, truly, unbelieveable. I still pinch myself every single day.
Until we eat again,
The Lunch Belle