Mike Ovitz was telling a group of people at the Grill on Thursday about the $30 Air Jordans he bought me for Christmas. “Julian,” he says, “I actually meant to buy you Prada shoes, just like my shoes that you approve of. But I called Prada myself and they said, ‘I’m very sorry, Mr. Ovitz. Prada doesn’t make shoes in size 12.’ But then they called back and said, ‘For you, Mr. Ovitz, we called Italy and are having a large pair of size 12 shoes custom made.'” Can you imagine? So, Mike Ovitz, says to me, “You’re new name is Big Foot!”
Earlier in the week Henry Kissinger came in with Jane Hartley (Ralph Schlosstein’s lovely wife). I don’t know what they were doing together, but they were holding hands. Then at the end of their lunch, Mr. Kissinger leaned over and said to me, “Can you please call Pete Peterson and tell him that I am having a very amorous lunch with Jane Hartley.” They have some little joke going—they both love her. It was very amusing. Harold Ford Jr. was also eating with a married woman. He came in with Jerry Speyer’s beautiful wife, Katherine Farley.
Thursday was all money. The whole financial world came—Larry Fink, Steve Schwarzman, Joe Perella, Ralph Schlosstein, Pete Peterson. The only person missing was the chief of Goldman Sachs! You basically don’t need to seat anyone on days like that because they all automatically go to their own table. Steve Rattner was back from vacation. He looks better than ever, 10 years younger. I think it’s because he’s doing what he loves.
Matthew Bronfman ate with two gentlemen at a banquette on Friday, right next to Beth Rudin DeWoody, who was lunching with the brand-new president of the New School, David Van Zant. At a nearby table, former Goldman Sachs partner Henry Cornell dined with associates. He now operates a winery in Napa Valley. His wine is outstanding!
And Clinton crony Vernon Jordan dined with Don Marin. I don’t know why President Obama didn’t pick him for chief of staff. I would like to have a chief of staff like Vernon Jordan. Can you imagine how many attractive women there would be in the administration?
Julian Niccolini is the co-owner of the Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan.