Lunch at Michael’s: Men Who Lunch

Our fearless leader was soaking up the Caribbean sun today, so we took Laurel‘s place and gratefully accepted permission to have lunch at Michael’s in her stead. The very healthy Men’s Fitness editor Neal Boulton joined us with his equally healthful special projects editor, Desirée Gallas (OK, Laurel’s right: tall stunning blonde; and she’s even charming and nice) for Cobb salad, wine, ravioli and steak while attempting to correctly ogle the fashions of the media elite and socialites, alike. But, hélas, we were much better at spotting faces than telling Manolos from Jimmys, or the Chanel jackets from simply wannabes. We did manage to talk, though, about boxing and gyms and sports, and even a little country music.

And a serious (or maybe Sirius) bunch of power players at a crowded table were fashioning the men’s answer to the Harpies.

We were perfectly perched to see comings and goings, but not so much the sittings. So if you want to tell us what table you were at, we’re all ears. …

Table 1: CBS publicity maestro Gil Schwartz with big boss Les Moonves — looking none-the-worse for his current tiff over Howard Stern’s move to Sirius radio — and L.A. Times editors Dean Baquet (chief), Josh Getlin (national, NY) and Matea Gold (TV). Les always merits the big, alcove table, of course, but this looked especially important. No hint of what they were saying.

2: Jesse Kornbluth and Marshall Cohen toasting Wendy Goldberg for her birthday.

3: Mayor of Michael’s Joe Armstrong, lunching with the beautiful and stunning Deeda Blair of National Institute of Health and she is the wife of a very distinguished former American ambassador.

4: Dominick Dunne looking very, well, Dominick Dunne-like. (He briefly spoke to the flank of socialistas at table 6; at one point, one of them fixed the part in his fabulous shock of imperfectly kempt white hair.) Owen Laster of the William Morris Agency.


5: Stanley Schuman, head of the media practice at Allen & Company, and his son, David.

6: Terry Allen Kramer, cousin of Herb Allen (the same Allen & Co.) and a gaggle of well-dressed light-haired lunchers.

7: Men’s Fitness EIC Neal Boulton, who regaled us with tales of an about-to-launch not-for-profit venture to get Americans, especially school children, to lose weight. (The website goes live soon.) Desirée Gallas, special projects editor at MF. Now we know why they were with a country singer last week: Desirée’s gaga for the stuff. And Neal’s gaga for their next cover model, stunning Sarah Shahi, of The “L” Word. After that, it’ll be actor Jerry O’Connell. Mediabistro editorial director Dorian Benkoil and managing editor for media news Dylan Stableford.

8: Sally Sussman, spokeswoman for Estée Lauder, looking very nice in a powder blue shirt.

9: You tell us.

11: Holly Peterson of Newsweek.

12: Chris Matthews, who split the afternoon laughing and in deep, seemingly serious conversation. He sat with a dark-haired woman with patch of white, and and anohter man.

14: Gary Byrne (sp?)

15: Fifteen, indeed.

16: Jerry Della Femina with another Jerry. Or Gerry, perhaps?

Table 17: New York Post business reporter Zach Kouwe and Ron Perelman’s publicist (and Michael’s regular) Chris Taylor.

18: Jane Hartley, G7 Group , with another good-looking and fashionable blonde, with whom Jane paid homage at the Schumans’ table.

19: Behind a pole.

20: Judy Price, whom we think is president of the National Jewelry Institute.

23: Dan Wassong, longtime chief executive officer of Del Laboratories.

24: Jack Kliger, Hachette CEO and Magazine Publishers of America chairman.

25: Stephen Greenberg, former deputy commissioner of Major League Baseball, and brother Glenn.

27: The men’s answer to the Harpies women’s club of thinkers and gabbers. They think they want to be called, maybe, Men Who Lunch. Showtime corporate public relations VP Stuart Zakim (who knows everyone); ABC News PR honcho Jeff Schneider; New York Times media writer David Carr; Flatiron Communications principal Peter Himler; PR headhunter Arnold Huberman; Matt Hiltzik; Women’s Wear Daily media writer Jeff Bercovici; and Sirius spokesman Patrick Reilly — who also looked no worse for the wear over the Howard Stern froth-fest. Business Week‘s Jon Fine is also in the group, we’re told, but he couldn’t make it this time. (Guess where he might be?…)

On his way to the coat check, Carr grabbed Dunne to ask: “Court TV has an entertainment show now, you know that? No, you didn’t.” We’re pretty sure the show in question was Hollywood Heat.

Also seen:

De Beers CEO Alyce Alston, who until about this time last year was publisher of W, Vitals and assorted offshoots at Fairchild Publications. Looking just-so in a fur coat that came down to just above her boots, leaving with a woman in a longer fur coat, sunglasses and a stylish walking stick.

TimeOut New York‘s Alison Tocci and Gary Zarr, senior VP at the Museum of Natural History, at the self-dubbed “Brooklyn power table.” (We didn’t catch the number.)

Actress/model Karyn Plonsky, whose show-stopping beauty was, well, a thing of beauty. She was a lunch latecomer who had most of Michael’s in swivel-head mode. Think early Jenny McCarthy, only better.

ABC’s Joel Siegel did a great job of putting on a wonderful fur-trimmed coat, then helping maitresse d’ Loreal pick up a bunch of Michael’s matches the coat knocked off her stand while he wondered aloud about Sunday’s Oscars.

Miscellaneous: A pair of stunning brunettes clad with “Manolo or Jimmy,” according to Gallas.

= = = = =

If you were at Michael’s today (or any day) and would like to report in, or correct the record, please email LaurelT AT mediabistro.com or (for today’s) Dylan AT mediabistro.com.

Map of Michael’s
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