Black is Back! Cathie Holds Court at the Grill, While Francis Ford Coppola Brings In His Vineyard

julian niccolini 1 01 Black is Back! Cathie Holds Court at the Grill, While Francis Ford Coppola Brings In His Vineyard 

On Monday night we had an intimate dinner and wine-tasting with Francis Ford Coppola–you know he’s now the Godfather of oenophilia–and we tried all of his best varietals, except for the 1959 Inglenook, which we were all waiting for but which Mr. Coppola must have lost on the way to the Four Seasons. We were very disappointed. I sat next to Mr. Coppola and he told me that when I come to visit him in Napa, he’ll open a bottle of 1953 Inglenook–it’s a pinot noir from the year I was born! At the end of the evening, we had a magnum of Dom Perignon that was outstanding. Of course, it did not come from Mr. Coppola’s vineyard.

Mike Ovitz was back on Thursday telling everyone what a crazy guy I am. Can you imagine?! How could I be crazy when he is the one who started everything!

Late last week, Henry Kissinger lunched with Bob Rubin–maybe they were discussing the budget over some appetizers.

Then we had our media group: Gina Sanders, the lady behind Lucky magazine (and behind Steven Newhouse), came for lunch on Monday, and literary agent Lynn Nesbit dined with Lally Weymouth, who was wearing that fabulous black leather jacket again. She must have just worn it for me because it was too hot outside to justify leather. And, of course, Cathie Black was back–twice actually. Once for the Cancer Research cook-off last Sunday night (during which a Lady Gaga impersonator floated right through the pool, much to the amusement of the guests, including Tony Bennett, Mayor Bloomberg and Aerin Lauder) and then later in the week for lunch with PR magnate Robert Dilenschneider. God knows she could use some advice from him.

The prince is also back! He left after we didn’t have his usual table ready for him two days in a row, but then after less than a week he reappeared. He said it was because we have the best food, but I’m sure it’s actually because no one else would put up with him. He came in on Monday in a camel-colored suit and matching scarf and ate oysters alone at his banquet.

We recently celebrated Argentine musician (and heartthrob!) Diego Garcia with dinner in the Pool Room. This was right after his performance at Joe’s Pub, where I made a bit of a spectacle. Last year, at my birthday party in the Grill, Diego serenaded me with a heartfelt ode called “Julian, It Is Your Fucking Birthday.” I loved it so much that I couldn’t help but yell, “Diego, it’s my birthday!” from my seat on the balcony (it wasn’t my birthday, but I wanted to get his attention). I was so loud that he paused the show to dedicate a song to me, a cover of “Strange Effect” by the Kinks. I clapped and danced all night!

Michael Steinhardt is coming in on Thursday with Warren Buffett. I can’t wait to hear about who picked up the check!

editorial@observer.com