The dining room at Michael’s was buzzing today with moguls and media mavens who did more than the usual amount of table-hopping between bites — standing-room only in the bustling lounge as the regulars and requisite movers and shakers were out in force. (Liz! Lesley! The “Mayor”!) Even the bar was a power perch: captain of industry Teddy Forstmann and a mysterious dark-haired beauty were deep in coversation tucked away in the corner. They may not have been checking out the scene from their stools but we were:
1. Gotham’s greatest local line-up — anchorwomen and reporters Peri Peltz, Jane Hansen (love the longer chic ‘do!), Rosanna Scotto, Penny Crone and Lynn White. We’d love to know what the headlines from this afternoon were after this crowd was through dishing and dining …
2. Producer Jonathan Hart and guest.
3. “Mayor” Joe Armstrong and Men’s Health honcho Dave Zinczenko. The always dashing duo chatted with today’s lunchtime chronicler, Diane Clehane, about their jam-packed itineraries. Joe is just back from his third trip with Habitat for Humanity where he was building houses (literally) in the still devastated areas of New Orleans. Says Joe: “It’s incredible. Thirty-thousand homes were lost where we were. People need to know there is still so much that needs to be done. It’s devastating.” The inexhaustible Dave is busy preparing for his first trip to the Oscars where he’ll hobnob with A-list agents and talent at the hot parties around town. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it … His Oscar pick? “I’m rooting for Scorsese.”
4. Power blondes Liz Smith and Lesley Stahl lunching with Christine Quinn (whose two discreet but imposing-looking bodyguards kept watch at the door). Could there be a 60 Minutes piece on the city council speaker in the works? We’ll have to ask Mayor Armstrong — — Liz pulled up a chair and joined Joe and Dave after her guests left and “closed the place” long after the rest of the lunch crowd departed
5. Norman Pearlstine.
6. Hallmark proxy Henry Schlieff and a table full of guests.
7. Marc Rosenthal.
8. David Patrick Columbia.
9. Gerry Byrne and his daughter.
10. Jack Myers and Morgan Stanley’s Dave Joseph.
11. Bob Friedman.
12. Joseph Abboud and his longtime friend and attorney Theodore Dinsmoor. We were thrilled when Joseph invited us to join him for coffee to catch us up on all his new projects. The menswear icon recently launched a new company charmingly named Herringbone (the stunning corporate headquarters are in bucolic Bedford — “I’m living my own version of It’s a Wonderful Life“) and is currently shopping a lifestyle/fashion television pilot, aptly-titled Threads with Joseph Abboud. Joe told Diane Clehane he expects to hear news on a distributor any day. (We hear cabler Fine Living is interested). If the show is produced with the same impeccable taste that made virtually every sportscaster/newsman — including Bob Costas and Bryant Gumbel (“I owe a lot of my early success to him”) — a fan of his collections, it’s sure to be a hit. We’re rooting for you, Joe.
14. Alice Mayhew.
15. CBS spinmeister Gil Schwartz.
16. The Today show’s Marc Victor with GQ‘s Dan Scheffey and another fellow we’d like to meet. Marc stopped by to chat with us at the bar about the runaway success the morning chat show is having with its latest viewer contest — “Anchor for Today.” The show has received “thousands” of tapes from viewers vying for a spot on the couch next to Ann Curry and Al Roker and a shot at hosting the 9:00AM hour for a day. Marc and the Today show team have screened the submissions whittling the stockpile down to a 16 lucky finalists — (“we even have a farmer from Iowa!”). Viewers will pick the winner by voting online and by text messaging. The top vote-getter will be announced next Wednesday and assume hosting duties on Thursday. “It’s a chance to be part of the Today show family for a day!” enthuses Marc. Stay tuned!
17. Avenue’s Judy Price and a bubbly exec from Veuve Clicquot.
18. Rose Marie Bravo and friends.
19. Debbie Fine, and, we’re told, a bigwig from Hillary Clinton‘s camp.
20. Lynn Goldberg.
21. Tom Fallon and Lady Agnew.
22. Peter Wolf.
23. The gang is all here: Gerry Imber, Jerry Della Femina and Joel Siegel (looking dapper in pinstripes).
24. Jordan Rangel.
25. Tom Goodman.
26. We couldn’t see …
27. Sotheby’s Jamie Nivens and guest.
28. Missy Godfrey.
29. Uber-agent Michael Carlisle.
30. Fortune‘s Patty Sellers.
Faces we spotted in the crowd: fashionistas Barbara Cirkva and Linda Wachner.
Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro DOT com & lunch at mediabistro DOT com.