Lunch at Michael’s: No Katie Today, So Al Roker Will Have To Do.

Laurel and I both schlepped in from Brooklyn on this warm, sunny Thursday for our weekly installment of Lunch at Michael’s. I’m Greg Lindsay, your guest spotter for this week, and likely far into the future, as Laurel is beginning to travel more. There were no television cameras present today, nor was the The New York Times’ Cathy Horyn test-driving five-and-a-half-inch stilettos, but Al Roker was there, eating quietly in the corner, which should give you some idea of the lower wattage, lower key day day it was. Here’s who else was at Michael’s:

Table 1: Megaselling thriller-writer Mary Higgins Clark, her daughter and fellow suspense writer Carol Higgins Clark, Carol’s agent, Esther Newberg (who co-chairs ICM’s New York office alongside Binky Urban) and Leisel (?) Cade.

2: Ex-Variety publisher and Chairman/Founder of the Quill Book Awards, Gerry Byrne, was holding court with a pair of a guests, one of whom was with Recogmedia, who we assume was Jerome Sletteland, who also does work on behalf of The Webby Awards. (Remember those?) [A little birdie later wrote: Gerry Byrne was with Rodger Berman & Neil Vogel, Partners at Recognition Media (The Webby Awards).]

3: Paul Wilmot’s table today. He was with a few guests, one of whom was Gerald E-something (it’s hard to takes notes and eat matchstick fries simultaneously).


4: Al Roker’s table in the corner, where he was lunching with two other people. In violation of feng shui (and 007) principles, he was sitting with his back to the door.

5: Film producer Stanley Jaffe (Fatal Attraction, Kramer vs. Kramer) was at this table with Scott Green.

6.??? This seemed more like a family having lunch than a table doing business. But who wanders off the street into Michael’s? There’s a story here. Email us and let us know what it is.

7. Again: ??? although this was a table of three sober-looking gentlemen having a civilized lunch, which seems more like the norm.

8. As always, New York Social Diary’s David Patrick Columbia was holding down his table with an elegantly attired group. This time it was Brooke Hayward Duchin, Bill Blass
designer Michael Vollbracht and Tom Fallon.

9. Pantheon editorial director Errol McDonald and Fran Lebowitz started at this table, but just before their platters piled with frites arrived, they swtiched to the nearby Table 17, which had just been vacated by ex-NBC honcho Vic Garvey and his wife. What was the reason? Fran thought Table 9 was too noisy, we were told. That, and she seemed more comfortable with her back to the wall.

11. No clue, but they looked like a real pair of machers. Anyone?

12. Our second ‘Today’ sighting of the afternoon, this time of senior producer Amy Rosenblum, whose difficult job of holding down the 9 AM hour of the show just became that much more harder, for obvious reasons.

14. Former VH1 president and current MTV Networks new idea chief John Sykes was seated here with a gentleman named Gary Null. Does the latter have anything to do with the new channels that Sykes has reportedly been mulling?

15. New York Jets president Jay Cross and politico Jay Kriegel were here having a lively discussion of Passover. We would imagine they would have a lot to talk about under any circumstances, as Kriegel was executive director of Mayor Bloomberg’s 2012 Summer Olympic bid, the one which had hinged on a new Jets stadium on the west side…

16. A group of five women of a certain age merrily passing presents to the guest of honor. The last one to arrived strode into the restaurant with white-rimmed sunglasses, and was wearing a Louis Vuitton fannypack, among her other sartorial statements. (I wasn’t aware that Marc Jacobs had signed off on that one.) The same woman later marched over to Fran Lebowitz’s table and crouched for a while during a spirited chat.

17. As noted above, this was Vic Garvey’s table until Fran table-hopped.

18. Court TV chief Henry Schleiff lunching with the talent, in this case the Emmy-winning Catherine Crier of the eponymous “Catherine Crier Live.” She made the Easter fashion statement of the day with a mint pastel suit.

19. Alas, were seated on the other side of a mirrored column from this table. They may as well have been on the dark side of the moon. Who sat here?

20. Actor Bob Balaban (who played The New Yorker’s “Mr. Shawn” in Capote, so it’s only fitting that he’s here) with former Woody Allen producer (and former Woody Allen friend) Jean Doumanian.

21. Don Welsh still in-between Budget Living and shopping his book around, eating oysters with a gentleman whose name we didn’t catch.

22. No idea.

23. Eric Korman, SVP of M&A at IAC. That’s a lot of acronyms for just one man.

24. Liz Smith — not that one, the other one, who’s a VP at Alliance Capital — with Joan Parker.

Tables 25. 28. & 29. No intel on any of these tables. If you were sitting here, please let us know!

Greg AT mediabistro Dot Com AND FishbowlNY AT mediabistro Dot Com .

Map of Michael’s
map2006.gif