Where Everyone Knows Your Name

Essentially a tale of a dinner, this is more about familiarity breeding not contempt, but warmth and great pleasure.

We began the day at the Four Seasons Hotel for a bite of breakfast and a meeting. Coats were whisked away, the juice of the day (orange and peach) poured with the right mixture of subtlety and ceremony. Warm greetings from members of the staff, always decorous and yet charming.

That afternoon after a grueling but productive morning we opted to take the day (gorgeous sunshine after days of dreary rain). We had a trot through the park, caught a superb movie at the artsy and eccentric Lincoln Plaza Cinemas, AMERICAN VIOLET. A harrowing and inspiring true story that Rex Reed (the critic) and I agree almost pelts you with both intelligence and significance. Yet it’s uplifting, realistically acted and as dramatic as only real life at times can be. We know the gentleman who punches the tickets, and it’s nice to see him act the curmudgeon as he directs traffic at the cinema.

On the way home, we said hello to our friends at Schumer’s our neighborhood wine store (they have a great eye for wonderful bottles of wine and a discerning palate for which wine would best match which culinary occasion). We stopped by one of the fruit vendors close by to our apartment. He greeted us with enthusiasm and insisted I try a particular Mango.

New York is a teeming city, but it’s also essentially a collection of neighborhoods. And if you’ll stop and engage people, you’ll discover virtually everyone knows your name…so to speak, at least within your stomping grounds here.

That evening some dear friends who are also major clients were in town. We dined in Del Posto, one of my favorite restaurants anywhere. We met Jeff the Manager who adjusted to our change in numbers without breaking his stride, Emanuele who almost always looks after us with aplomb and panache, and numerous others we recognize visually if not by name. The menu and wine pairings are below. Highlights included the Raw big eye tuna, the Bollito Misto with the rich Capon broth (amazing!), the Tuscan Fish Stew with Glass Eels (originally alive before the broth was poured!) — but overall it was a true triumph of flavors and service.

We then went onto the Grand Havana Room, my Cigar Club in New York. A busy night there, again a call to Randal, the Manager and a friend, and a wonderful space was reserved for us almost immediately, and we capped the evening with camaraderie, cigars, XO Armagnac and good cheer.

All day we felt blessed that we were known and seen. It was good to be alive!

Try really noticing people wherever you go. Really see them. Listen to them for awhile. Talk to them. William James pointed out that the greatest human craving is the need to be appreciated. Offer that authentically, and you’ll be a star wherever you go…and you’ll deserve to be.

MENU

Insalata Primavera della Terra

Vegetables with Herbs, Sprouts & Flowers, a kaleidoscope of Spring with Brut Blanc de Blancs “Vertus” Guy Larmandier NV Champagne

Tuna Susci with Insalata Tricolore

Raw Big Eye Tuna with Horseradish, Radicchio, Chicory and Arugula with Fiano “Donnaluna” de Conciliis 2007 Campania

Tortellini in Brodo

Bollito Misto in a Miniature Ravioli in a Rich Capon Broth with “Uvaggio” Proprieta Sperino 2005 Piemonte

Linguini in Red Clam Sauce

A New York Classic with Pugliese Vongole Veraci Clams and Piennolo Tomatoes with Barbera d’Alba “Brichet” Ca’ Viola 2007  Piemonte

Cacciucco with Glass Eels

Tuscan Fish Stew with Brut Rose Laherte NV Champagne

Beef Rossini

Beef Short Ribs with Foie Gras, Truffles, Madeira and Garlic Spinach with “Cerviolo” San Fabiano Calcinaia 2000 Tuscany

Blood Orange Bellini

Tartufo al Caffe

Torta Carotina

Butterscotch Semifreddo

with Recioto di Soave, Agostino Vicentini 2006 Veneto