Observer readers may have lately noticed a new column by the Tuscan-born Four Seasons owner Julian Niccolini, who has referred to himself as a “restaurateur, actor, beekeeper, journalist and winemaker.” So far, Mr. Niccolini has written just like he runs his restaurant: with well-combed, neatly pinstriped, slightly demented glee. This reporter spent time with Mr. Niccolini in his domain only once, during a very long interview with the residential real estate behemoth Dolly Lenz in the Four Seasons three years ago, which was made a lot more pleasant by the scotch, wine, truffles and desserts Mr. Niccolini brought over, and helped consume.
In this week’s column, Mr. Niccolini shares a story about the private equity guru, former Commerce Secretary, public thinker, and billionaire Peter G. Peterson. Mr. Peterson “returned from Florida early,” the restaurateur relates, “because he couldn’t find a purveyor of his favorite Gold Toe socks. They’re the only kind of socks he likes to wear, so he came back.”
A spokesperson for Blackstone, the firm Mr. Peterson co-founded, did not immediately return an email. It is not clear if Steve Schwarzman, his co-founder, has sock preferences that may similarly interrupt the months-long trip to Paris he recently announced.
Update, 2:51pm: According to two hard-hitting articles on Gold Toe in the Post this past year, not only does Blackstone own the company, but it has been looking to sell it. Finding a buyer didn’t go well, so Blackstone is now trying to arrange a loan for Gold Toe, which the sock company seems to badly need. “Other heavily-indebted companies,” says the Post, “are likely watching.” Perhaps Mr. Peterson was publicly extolling his high-quality, durable, comfortable sock of choice at the Four Seasons to gin up business?