Vox Populi: The O'Shaughnessy Files

By William O’Shaughnessy | Go to book overview

MAESTRO SIRIO: THE RINGMASTER

“Maestro” Sirio Maccioni is America’s greatest
restaurateur. He and his wife, Egidiana, and his sons,
Mario, Marco, and Mauro, have been our friends for more
than thirty years. One of the smartest men I’ve ever met,
Sirio is also one of the most generous I’ve encountered. I
bless the day we met. I broadcast this token of my esteem
on May 15, 2006.

On Thursday, glamour and style return to the New York dining scene. The great Sirio Maccioni, America’s quintessential restaurateur, returns to center stage with the third incarnation of his legendary Le Cirque, a New York institution.

Sirio Maccioni is seventy-three. He may yet do something in Paris or Dubai. But even he knows this will be one of his last high-wire acts in the center ring of the great city where he has been a featured performer for so long. He begins this week on East 58th Street.

The relentless clock reminds us it is 2006, and we are all mortal. But for at least this one special night, in Sirio’s honor, I hope Joe DiMaggio roams centerfield once more at Yankee Stadium. Frank Sinatra should be on stage at Carnegie Hall crooning a Cole Porter song. William S. Paley again heads the Tiffany network where the cufflinks are just a little smaller and more discreet than those of NBC and ABC.

It requires a time when the sportswriter Jimmy Cannon wrote pure poetry in a lonely room near Times Square. Mario Cuomo is standing on a flatbed truck in the Garment District screaming at elderly Jewish women hanging out the window. Ossie Davis is speaking pure truth to an audience at a church in Harlem. Gay Talese is coming down Lexington Avenue with his fine clothes and a very good cigar. Robert Merrill is singing the national anthem at Yankee Stadium for George M. Steinbrenner III. And Kitty Carlisle Hart is at Feinstein’s every night.

I know, I know, it is now 2006. But Sirio Maccioni, with roots in the glory days of our town, is still in the game. He is to his

-339-

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