Synopses & Reviews
Sirio Maccioni is a living legend, a restaurateur extraordinaire who has wined and dined high society in New York for nearly half a century. Along the way, he helped launch the careers of many illustrious chefs - David Bouley, Daniel Boulud, and Jacques Torres among them - and befriended a host of celebrities in the arts, politics, and business, from Frank Sinatra and Frank Zappa to Nancy Reagan and Ivana Trump. Now Maccioni lets us into his world, revealing the secrets that have made his Le Cirque one of the world's most celebrated restaurants.
With the help of award-winning Bloomberg restaurant critic Peter Elliot, Maccioni recounts the story of his life and his restaurant career. Beginning with his childhood in rural Tuscany during World War II and the tragedies and privations that left him determined to pursue success at the world's finest restaurants, he shares a journey that took him to post-war Paris and Hamburg and the nightlife of pre-Castro Cuba and finally to New York.
By 1961, the dashing young Maccioni had become maitre d' at New York's most storied restaurant, the Colony. Within thirteen years, he had the experience and contacts he needed to launch his own restaurant, Le Cirque, which quickly became the hub of cafe society in New York.
From hiring the right chefs and revolutionizing the way top restaurants operate to popularizing now-famous dishes such as pasta primavera and creme brulee, Maccioni reveals how he made Le Cirque such a long-running success - a success that reached new heights when the restaurant moved to a new location in 1997. Along the way, Maccioni explains how he's dealt with defecting chefs and demanding customers. And through it all, he pays tribute to his proud Tuscan roots and to his wife and their three sons, who operate the family's other New York restaurant, Osteria del Circo, as well as restaurants in Las Vegas and Mexico City.
Like Maccioni himself, Sirio is full of passion, energy, and life - the unforgettable story of the world's most extraordinary restaurateur.
"Sirio and his restaurant have come to symbolize all that is so cosmopolitan, so kinetic, so thrilling about New York....Le Cirque remains both a gastronomic mecca and the premier social dining room." James Villas, Town & Country
"Engaging....You'd expect a memoir like this one to be filled with shameless name-dropping and, of course, it is. But Sirio is also a very fine book about the business of high-end restaurants." Adam Platt, The New York Times Book Review
"LOOK! Wasn't she on the cover of Vogue last month? Over there, the movie star! Isn't that the former Mayor at the corner table? The diva? The billionaire? Heads swivel, eyes turn: Le Cirque 2000 glitters with hysterical energy. And here comes the ringmaster, Sirio Maccioni, pulling tricks out of his sleeve. He produces a basket of early truffles, a special cheese, a long-lost friend. When Mr. Maccioni focuses his well-known charm upon you he is difficult to resist." (From Ruth Reichl's review in the New York Times. This book tells the story of Le Cirque 2000, defined by its owner, its chefs, its clientele, and its cuisine. It recounts Sirio's journey from a hard Tuscan childhood to the pinnacle of culinary success.
The inside story of one of the world's most legendary restaurants told by the visionary who created it.
Sirio Maccioni is New York's most charismatic restaurateur the brains, the energy, and the passion behind Le Cirque 2000. Now, for the first time, he reveals the incredible story of this landmark four-star restaurant, which has launched the careers of such world-class chefs as Jacques Torres and Daniel Boulud and won a host of prestigious awards, including the James Beard Foundation Restaurant of the Year Award (199-5) and "The Best Restaurant in the World" Reader's Choice Award from Condé Nast Traveler (200-3).
From a tough Tuscan childhood in 1930s Italy to the pinnacle of culinary success in the United States, Sirio recounts an eventful journey that is as magical and fantastic as Le Cirque itself. Throughout, 30 signature recipes and interviews with chefs (including Daniel Boulud, Michael Lomonaco, and Sottha Khunn), food writers (such as Ruth Reichl and Mimi Sheraton) and politicians, socialites, and celebrities (Rudy Giuliani, David Rockefeller, Bill Blass, and others) reveal Sirio's skill in handling the three rings of his unique culinary circus: its chefs, its clientele, and its cuisine.
"When one considers legendary restaurateurs of the world, Sirio Maccioni strides like a giant across the landscape. Weve all learned (and stolen!) from him. His work ethic is second to nonethe consummate gentleman who cares for kings and queens in the same measure as his everyday guests. Peter Elliot has brilliantly captured the essence of Sirios life, which by definition encompasses the best and brightest of New York."
"Sirio Maccioni is the perfect maestro. He does it all: great food, great entertainment, and always with a room full of the best people. Hes the only person I could ever imagine going into the restaurant business with!"
"Few can resist the courtly indulgence of Le Cirques brilliant ringmasterjuggler of tables, dapper hand-smoocher, ego massager to generations of the high and the flighty."
About the Author
Sirio Maccioni (New York, NY) is the owner of Le Cirque 2000 (New York, Las Vegas, and Mexico City) and Osteria del Circo (New York).
Peter Elliot (New York, NY) is the host of the James Beard Award-winning radio show, The Bloomberg Executive Dining Guide.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Donald Trump.
Welcome to Le Cirque.
The Maccionis of Monsummano.
"Always Tell the Truth".
It's Always About Leaving.
Getting Started in Paris.
The Next Generation of Chefs.
The Home Lines.
"He's Good, but He's Italian".
From Delmonico's to the Colony.
Planning a Restaurant.
Opening Le Cirque.
Kids, Wine, and Créme Brûlée.
The Ladies and Men of Le Cirque.
Triumph of Simplicity.
The Prodigal Son.
Losing and Winning.
THREE RING CIRCUS.
Osteria del Circo: A Family Restaurant?
Le Cirque 2000.
Don't Play Games with God.