This story first appeared in the Feb. 1 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
24 W. 55th St.
It’s the location for anyone who wants Californian cuisine with a New York side of boldface names (reported instantly on Media Bistro’s Fishbowl page). When PR power Peggy Siegal isn’t hosting media meet-and-greets, Harvey Weinstein works the room among Today host Matt Lauer, Eliot Spitzer and former Sony exec Tommy Mottola. Owner Michael McCarty and manager Steve Millington “have for the past five years seated me at table 27, with a view of the entire restaurant,” says Jay Kernis, Rock Center With Brian Williams producer. “I conduct all my lunch meetings there.”
2. Four Seasons
99 E. 52nd St.
The Grill Room (not the Pool Room) of the Four Seasons is where moguls, financiers and media all meet. The stately, wood-toned dining room is filled with the likes of The Office scriptwriter Lee Eisenberg, Salman Rushdie, Anne Hathaway, Barry Diller, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather and Michael Ovitz, all dining on everything from fussy bison steaks to dependable sirloin burgers.
3. Fred’s New York
660 Madison Ave.
Although located in upscale department store Barneys, the restaurant is not about “ladies who lunch” -- instead, you might find yourself next to Alec Baldwin, Bruce Springsteen, Sofia Coppola or Barbara Walters. Larry David is lured by the quiet ambiance and the best chopped chicken salad in New York, while ad exec/author Donny Deutsch simply testifies that for him, Fred’s is all about: “Good food. Great energy. Beautiful women.”
1 Central Park West
This elegant room has actual space between tables -- “you can have a conversation here,” says CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King, “and the food is always good, no matter what.” Magic Johnson, Emma Watson and Quincy Jones are among those who come for the Michelin-star-rated cuisine and VIP service.
5. The Lamb’s Club
132 W. 44th St.
In the culinary backwater of Times Square stands a clubby room with steak salads and lobster rolls by renowned chef Geoffrey Zakarian. “It’s just formal enough, there’s not a bad table, and you can be in and out in 45 minutes,” says Zakarian on why names like Viacom’s Thomas Dooley and HBO’s Richard Plepler eat at the two-year-old spot. Says USA Network co-president Chris McCumber: “I love the creative vibe, plus the owner, David Rabin, is a big Suits fan!”