One of Manhattan’s most celebrated restaurateurs, Sirio Maccioni has wined and dined high society in New York for nearly half a century. Along the way, he has helped launch the careers of many illustrious chefs and befriended a host of celebrities in the arts, politics, business and fashion. Maccioni’s boundless passion and energy for life has been the driving force behind the success of Le Cirque and the Maccioni family’s ever-expanding global restaurant group.
Born in the Tuscan town of Montecatini Terme, Maccioni attended high school there before moving on to restaurant and hotel training programs in Paris and Hamburg. After a series of apprenticeships in Montecatini and Paris, he held a variety of positions at hotels and restaurants in Italy, France, and Germany, including the Grand Hotel & La Pace in Montecatini, the Plaza Athenee in Paris, and the Hotel Atlantic in Hamburg.
Eventually, Maccioni took his skills to sea with Home Lines before moving to the United States to continue his career. He quickly settled in and developed a loyal following at the Wall Street eatery Delmonico’s. From there he made his way to the renowned Colony restaurant, where, as maitre d’, he became an institution among the movers and shakers of New York.
After thirteen years, Maccioni had the experience and contacts he needed to launch his own restaurant. In March of 1974, Maccioni opened Le Cirque in the Mayfair hotel. Le Cirque was the first privately owned hotel restaurant in the city and quickly became the hub of café society in New York.
In 1997, the restaurant moved from the Mayfair to the voluptuous surroundings of the New York Palace Hotel and the landmark Villard Houses, under the name of Le Cirque 2000, where it remained until 2004. In May 2006, Maccioni re-opened Le Cirque in its current home at One Beacon Court
A love for the restaurant world runs in the Maccioni family. As Maccioni’s three sons have grown older, they have followed their father into the restaurant business. In 1996, the family opened a casual version of Le Cirque called Circo in New York City. This was soon followed by the 1998 opening of Circo and Le Cirque in Las Vegas’ Bellagio Hotel. In 2009, Maccioni along with his sons opened their third Las Vegas restaurant, Sirio Ristorante at the Aria Resort and Casino Las Vegas. In addition to three Las Vegas restaurants, the Maccioni family has expanded globally, opening restaurants in the Dominican Republic (Le Cana Restaurant & Lounge by Il Circo and Beach Club by Le Cirque both at the exclusive Casa de Campo Resort) and in New Delhi, India (Le Cirque at The Leela Palace Kempinski). The Maccioni family has also partnered with Holland American cruises to offer “An Evening at Le Cirque” in the Pinnacle Grill aboard its fleet of 15 world class ships.
In fall 2012, Maccioni will open Sirio Ristorante New York at The Pierre, A Taj Hotel. This will mark Maccioni’s return to the iconic hotel, where in the 1970s he opened and oversaw La Foret lounge, restaurant and nightclub.
Maccioni has shared the culinary career of his family in his 2004 autobiography, “SIRIO: The Story of My Life and Le Cirque” co-written by Peter Elliot. The book chronicles the ringmaster’s journey from Tuscany to New York and honors those that helped him along the way to becoming the owner of one of the world’s most celebrated restaurants. In 2006, HBO released “Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven”, a documentary chronicling Maccioni and his three sons closing Le Cirque 2000 through the restaurant’s re-opening in 2006 in its current location. In October 2012, Rizzoli will release “A Table at Le Cirque” by Sirio Maccioni and Pamela Fiori. It will be the first book to chronicle the fascinating stories, fabled history, the glitz and glamour, and the iconic recipes from the restaurant that is synonymous with luxury. The first half of the book recounts Maccioni’s journey from Montecatini to Manhattan and Le Cirque’s rise to glory while the second part of the book shares the recipes that have kept everyone coming back.
Throughout the years, Maccioni has received numerous honors and accolades including the coveted James Beard “Restaurant of the Year” award, the Impresario dell’ Anno (Entrepreneur of the Year) award at Affreschi Toscani, a festival in Tuscany and being selected Father of the Year in 2002 by the National Father’s Day Committee.
Furthermore, in a tribute to the contributions Maccioni has made to New York City, the New York Landmarks Conservancy designated the distinguished Maccioni as one of its living landmark. The award put him in the grand company of other living landmarks such playwright John Guare, producer George C. Wolfe, and former governor Hugh Carey.
Maccioni and his family reside in New York City and also maintain a home in Montecatini, Italy, Maccioni’s birthplace.
You might say that the restaurant industry is in Mario Maccioni’s blood. His father—the urbane restaurateur Sirio Maccioni—has set the benchmark for service and style in New York City’s restaurant scene for more than 37 years at the fabled Le Cirque, and his mother, Egidiana, and two brothers are in the business as well. In fact, they are all in the business together with a common goal: to bring the finest dining experience to their clientele.
As the middle of three brothers, Marco Maccioni followed his older brother Mario’s lead and at the age of 12 started his career in the restaurant industry, working at Le Cirque for his father, famed restaurateur Sirio Maccioni. It was Marco’s childhood experiences that led him to follow in his father’s footsteps. While in high Sschool, Marco spent multiple summers working as a commis in Gérard Boyer’s three-Michelin star restaurant, Chateau Les Crayères in Reims, France, where he found his innate talent as budding restaurateur and chef.
Upon graduating New York University with a B.A. in Fine Arts and minor in Foreign Literature and Anthropology, Marco returned to Europe to further his culinary education. During his time oversees, Marco worked at Chateau Beychevelle in Bordeaux and served as an apprentice at both the famed Hotel de Paris Monte Carlo and at the three-star Moulin de Mougins under Chef Roger Vergé. Continue reading
Mauro Maccioni recalls being seven years old and having his father dress him in a bowtie in order to be properly attired to serve champagne to diners at Le Cirque. Says Maccioni, “My brothers and I virtually grew up in our father’s restaurant. As a young child I was encouraged to believe I might have the same knack as my father, and I’ve never seriously considered doing anything else.”
For Mauro, the journey began after he earned a BA from Columbia University. In addition to honing his craft during those early days at Le Cirque, he earned his stripes working for four summers for Gerard Boyer’s Michelin three-star Le Crayères in Reims, France. He also spent a year working at the Michelin-two star restaurant Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, staged at the Hotel Ritz in Paris and spent a summer under the tutelage of Juan Marie Arzac at his renowned Michelin-three star Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain.