Since 1974, Le Cirque has been one of the world's most celebrated restaurants, entertaining dignitaries, artists, celebrities and New York's social elite. An intriguing behind-the-scenes look at the ups and downs of the iconic restaurant, Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven follows owner Sirio Maccioni and his three sons from the shuttering of Le Cirque at the Palace Hotel following a 2004 New Year's Eve bash, through preparations for the eatery's celebrated rebirth in New York's Bloomberg Tower two years later.
Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven is an intimate family portrait of Le Cirque founder Sirio Maccioni, Egidiana, his wife and confidant of 40 years, and their three sons, to whom he will one day leave his formidable cultural and culinary legacy. While other restaurants have big money and corporations behind them, Sirio says Le Cirque "is a family affair and completely independent." Oldest son Mario runs Le Cirque, Las Vegas, while Marco, the middle son, and Mauro, the youngest, work in New York. Meanwhile, Egidiana prepares rustic meals in the tiny kitchen of their Manhattan apartment.
Sirio Maccioni pioneered a new style of dining in the 1980s, combining four-star food with the celebrity-charged ambience usually found in night clubs. Today, the Maccioni sons are trying to apply the same formula to a younger generation of celebrities with different tastes.
Capturing family members in their most revealing moments, the documentary explores the challenges of reinventing the legendary restaurant, the conflicts between the two generations of Maccionis and the enduring allure of gourmet simplicity.
Among the boldface names seen dining at the restaurant are Cindy Adams, Tony Bennett, Robert De Niro, Rudolph Giuliani, Billy Joel, Henry Kissinger, Regis Philbin, Nancy Reagan, Liz Smith, Martha Stewart, Donald Trump and Vera Wang.
Sirio Maccioni's journey to America is a classic immigrant story. Born on a farm in Montecatini, Italy, near some of the best hotels in the world, he began working as a busboy at age 13 to help support the family after his father died in a World War II bombing. Eventually, Sirio came to America as a waiter on a cruise ship and rose through the ranks of New York's finest restaurants. In 1974, he opened Le Cirque at the Mayfair Hotel, later transforming it into Le Cirque 2000 at the New York Palace Hotel, and ultimately into its current incarnation in 2006 at New York's Bloomberg Tower.
Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven takes its title from a conversation between Sirio and the Pope, who asked if he needed to call three months in advance for a reservation. Replying, "Come anytime, you don't even have to call," Sirio went on to ask the Pontiff, "What about making [me] a reservation for a table in heaven?"
Andrew Rossi co-directed the documentary feature "Eat This New York," and was associate producer of the documentary "Control Room."
Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven is directed by Andrew Rossi; produced by Charles Marquardt, Kate Novack and Andrew Rossi; edited by Charles Marquardt, Jim Mol and Andrew Rossi; story editor, Kate Novack; cinematography by Andrew Rossi. For HBO Documentary Films: consulting editor, Geof Bartz, A.C.E.; supervising producer, Sara Bernstein; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.
For more information, please visit the Film's website.
Tell us what you think about HBO GO. Sign up now to participate in the HBO GO Advisory Panel to share your opinions and for a chance to be entered into HBO sweepstakes and contests.