Memories of a Former Uptown Girl

This picture of me was taken inside The Pierre and not inside of Sirio. (The actual restaurant was too crowded for a photo-op!)

For a good chunk of time, I lived on the Upper East Side--nearly six years, to be exact. It was a different time in my life. I was working as an account executive at Chanel and walked down Madison Avenue to the office every morning, branded from head to toe. I had moved there after four years of living in a landmark building on a cute block in the West Village.

It was a small universe from 60th Street up to 79th Street, bordered by Fifth and Lexington Avenues, so I knew exactly who I'd likely see on that morning walk. On my way, I'd catch a glimpse of my art dealer neighbor having his morning espresso at Terramare, and, around the corner at the now-closed La Goulue, the charming French maƮtre d' would stop me for a hello and obligatory air kiss. And, of course, the flame-haired saleswoman from Bergdorf with her funky eyeglasses would be hurrying along just a few steps ahead of me.

I moved downtown to Greenwich Village two years ago and seldom make it back to the old neighborhood. Last night, I got a little taste of uptown life again at the opening cocktail party for Sirio, the new restaurant at The Pierre from Sirio Maccioni, the legendary impresario behind Le Cirque fame. The people-watching, as you can imagine, was a treat. There were moneyed old men with pretty young things, grand dames decked out in their baubles, and clusters of socialites looking chic and very... Blonde. You don't come by these sights too often downtown.

Sirio took over what was Le Caprice, a London export, and transformed it into an intimate and sophisticated space, taking design cues from the high style of 1960's Italy. It felt luxurious yet warm and approachable. My favorite element was the chrome-accented bar with a glass case displaying ocean treasures on crushed iced: whole Dover sole, glimmering under the light, and langoustines so fresh their legs were still tickling about.

I was curious about the contemporary Tuscan menu. It made me wonder if I will ever dine here. Life's so different now. I live just a few subway stops away and it feels like a completely different world. It seems that I'm back to being a downtown girl again, but maybe--just maybe--there's still a flicker of my uptown self somewhere inside.