Payard Pâtisserie

Photo: Jodie Love

The place:

Payard Pâtisserie (1032 Lexington Ave between 73rd and 74th Sts, 212-717-5252)

The diner:

Elizabeth Cirone-Segal, 65 (“and proud of it”), Upper East Sider since 1979 and a consultant for SCS Asset Management, a subsidiary of a private Swiss bank. Elizabeth wears only black (“I’m not a big color person”) with her signature glasses. “They were very chic when they first came out,” she says. “Then only gay men liked them.”

The routine:

Elizabeth has come to Payard once, often twice a day for ten years. She always sits at the bar and favors barkeeps Dana Watkins and Jane Lamay. “I’ve known Dana for so long. I always find him entertaining,” she says. “And of course he’s very handsome.”

The order:

“I like strong fish,” says Elizabeth, whose daily sardine habit inspired the chef to create a tribute dish, Sardines Elizabeth—fillets marinated in apple-cider vinaigrette with endive fondue and apple-quince chutney. She also enjoys the beet soup with pickled goat cheese, and a glass of dry white wine, like Muscadet or white Bordeaux. “In the winter I love the potato tart,” she says. “It’s done with goat’s-milk Brie, it’s fabulous.”

She says:

“I’m a real creature of habit, I never fix anything that’s not broken. Philippe [Bertineau, the chef] is aware of my regular status, I send him notes written on the back of my receipts after every meal. He’s a fabulous chef, and everyone here is exceptionally caring. There’s a difference between daytime and nighttime regulars, but you develop very nice relationships sitting at the bar. Unless I’m with a client, I wouldn’t dream of sitting [in the dining room].”