August 23 2014

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Celebrating The Four Seasons’ Big 5-0


Back in 1999, Four Seasons co-owner Julian Niccolini told Charlie Rose that while cultivating a sort of rarefied ambience was key, it wasn’t “only about see and be seen.” Fast-forward ten years and Niccolini’s still keenly aware of who’s coming and going. “I’d say I know about 95 percent of the people here,” the proprietor remarked in between hugs, handshakes, and countless congratulations at the restaurant’s 50th anniversary celebration last night. Guests like Barry Diller, Jay McInerney, Princess Firyal of Jordan, and Salman Rushdie hobnobbed with Ralph Lauren, Thom Browne, Yigal Azrouël, and Erin Fetherston, the latter of whom professed an affinity for the Philip Johnson-designed restaurant’s retro vibe. “It feels very old New York, very Truman Capote,” she explained. “It’s kind of like a moment frozen in time.” Asked whether she’s partaken in any Grill Room deal making, Fetherston replied, “No, no—I’m not a power luncher!” Turns out she prefers the Pool Room, as perhaps does Niccolini, who recalled one particularly noteworthy afternoon delight. “Best memories? Naked women swimming in the pool,” he reminisced, grinning. “They were about 25 years old. It was after lunchtime and they took their clothes off.” No word on whether the restaurant’s storied wine selection played a part in the shenanigans.

Photo: Billy Farrell / Patrick McMullan

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