Bettina's Take: Grand Opening of Sirio Ristorante at The Pierre

Photo: Patrick McMullan

Sirio Maccioni and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Sirio Maccioni, the legendary restaurateur behind Le Cirque, has opened Sirio Ristorante at The Pierre. There was a befittingly huge cocktail on Tuesday night to celebrate. "They're expecting a thousand people," I overheard someone say as I entered the space through the lobby of the hotel, which was packed, looked up at the ballroom, which was also packed, and made my way to the restaurant itself. I was curious about the design, and relieved when I saw it. Gone was Le Caprice's deco-inspired coldness that looked like the inside of the elevator at the Chrysler building, fashionably replaced with warm wood, upholstered banquettes in soothing fabrics, and flattering lighting.

"Would you like a drink? I'm having a Rose Kennedy," said Douglas Hannant as we made our way to the bar through the crowd, a multi-generational who's who of New York's movers and shakers, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Chuck Scarborough, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, Dori Cooperman, Amy Sacco, Elizabeth Kurpis, Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict, Kyle De Woody, Nicole and Matthew Mellon, Cornelia Guest, Richard Meier, Zubin Mehta, and Kevin Ryan. It was impossible to see them all amid the buzz of bellinis and bruschetta being passed around. I only wish I could have spoken to Ambassador Ken Taylor, who was the Canadian Ambassador to Iran in 1979, where he and his wife bravely harbored six members of the US Embassy staff who had escaped the hostage crisis. Thanks to Argo, the world knows know this man is a bona fide hero.

Pumpkin croquettes and saffron risotto were being passed around, but who had time to nibble when there were so many air kisses to exchange? We already know what to expect from this group: excellence. With the Maccioni family and the Pierre behind it, Sirio is sure to be a huge success.