Le Cirque

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Photograph: Meghan Petersen

The place: Le Cirque (151 E 58th St between Lexington and Third Aves, 212-644-0202)

The diner: Susan Fales-Hill, 46: socialite-cum-memoirist (Always Wear Joy), New Yorker since age two and Le Cirque apostle since the early ’80s. Of the restaurant’s charismatic ringmaster, Sirio Maccioni, she says, “The beauty of Sirio is that even if he doesn’t know you from Adam, he treats you like a long-lost relative.”

The routine: Fales-Hill visits Le Cirque several times a month and generally dines in the bar area. “Sitting here makes Le Cirque an easier and more accessible experience,” she says. “It’s not 1980 anymore—and in many ways, thank goodness.”

The order: The grilled minute steak and a kir royale or half bottle of Duck Horn merlot is prime premovie fodder for Fales-Hill, who frequently follows a weekend meal at Le Cirque with a visit to the City Cinemas around the corner. “I’m a meat eater and a fur wearer and I’m not ashamed of either,” she says. At lunch, it’s the lobster salad: “tender, succulent perfection with the lightest vinaigrette.”

She says: “We’re all looking for that Proustian madeleine experience; that comforting moment from our past. There are those things that people will want forever—the souffl, the crme brle, the fillet of sole. Le Cirque has been so smart about keeping those pillars of the kitchen intact. In a world of change, it’s rare to feel this sense of continuity.”

Are you a regular? E-mail us at eatout@timeoutny.com.

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