Celebrated Italian restaurateur Sirio Maccioni (the man behind New York's Le Cirque and a handful of other restaurants across Las Vegas and now New Delhi) returns to The Pierre with Sirio Ristorante, forty years after serving as maître d' at the same hotel's venerable La Forêt supper club kickstarted his illustrious career.
I dolled up for the distinct privilege of attending the grand opening. The hotel's Rotunda room flooded with flashing cameras as celebrities including Tony Bennett, Martha Stewart, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and a handful of New York power players poured in to get their headshot with Mr. Maccioni himself.
In the next room, no less than a thousand of New York's best—men in tailored Armani suits, women with their pearls and diamonds, flamboyant hats, sky-high stilettos, smatterings of French and Italian—gathered to schmooze and sip on Sirio wines (produced in Maremma, Italy, uniquely for the restaurant). Chances to grab passing hor d'oeuvres (rich saffron risotto; smoked salmon canapés topped with caviar) before the platters emptied were few and far between, which may be testament to the popularity Sirio is sure to experience within its opening weeks.
The restaurant itself is much more down-home than former resident of the space and London extract Le Caprice. Redone by interior designer Adam D. Tihany (this will be his eighth collaboration with Mr. Maccioni), the sub-level room was made to echo Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita" Italy circa 1960: wine-colored chairs, walls lined with black-and-white Italy scenescapes, and sepia overtones that made the room feel luxuriously warm.
Chef Filippo Gozzoli, fresh from Park Hyatt Milan, helms the kitchen and will serve up seasonal Tuscan classics like pumpkin risotto, braised veal cheeks, and classic carbonana. Word on the street? They'll also serve pizza.
Pizza at the Pierre. I don't know about you, but I'm Sirio excited.
Lindsey Olander is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.