Mitchell Wilburn, Sirio Maccioni, John Curtas

Le Cirque, for lack of a better word, is an institution.  This was true when the mother-ship opened in 1974 New York City (otherwise known as when NYC was extremely scary and fine dining was scarce), and it is doubly true today in every location another Le Cirque or Sirio or Circo opens.  The founder and patriarch of this family-owned business has been a classic character in the New York food scene, but on special occasion the man himself, the consummate host, will make it out to our humble metropolis.  Sirio Maccioni has been masterminding and marshaling a legacy of amazing chefs, consistently head-turning food, a social-club for the elite, and arguably has been the axis on which the fine dining of our great nation has spun on for the last forty years.  In this age of celebrity chefs and TV cooking competitions, there seems to have been a shift in restaurant culture.  This shift is not necessarily towards the food, but rather away from the “experience”.  In this realm, the realm of greeting guests, being a likable and charismatic host, and giving your restaurant its personality, Sirio Maccioni was the Gordon Ramsay, the Joël Robuchon, the Thomas Keller of his day.
Sirio came back to Vegas to promote his new book, A Table at Le Cirque.  Part coffee-table book, part photo-memoir, part cook book, it’s yet another release from the Maccioni family to yours. While the last few media releases from the Maccionis have either been collections of old family recipes from his wife, Egidiana Maccioni, personal and in-depth autobiographies, or even a behind-the-scenes HBO special on the family’s tribulations in moving Le Cirque from the Palace Hotel to the Bloomberg Building, A Table at Le Cirque has been more of an honest look at the restaurant in its heyday.  Sirio has garnered a world-class assortment of anecdotes, ranging from his most impressive guest (among which, Pope John-Paul: “He knew fifteen languages!”) to frequent dining stars like Frank Sinatra, Andy Warhol, and Diana Ross.  And of course, for the chefs in all of us you’ll find a few of the dishes that made Le Cirque an icon.  Their time periods are reflected in their style, and as Le Cirque as a whole in the position of a trend setter.  Mr. Maccioni, whose three sons Mario, Marco, and Mauro continue his legacy in professionalism, is still a host at heart.  Always quick to hospitality, at his age he still signed any book needing signed and posted for photos with whoever wanted one, ever a affable face to fine-dining’s usual stony visage