Mauro Maccioni is restaurant royalty. The son of Sirio Maccioni, the trendsetting Manhattan restaurateur to the stars, Mauro literally grew up in Le Cirque. Deeply passionate bout food and hospitality, Mauro now helps run the family business, which continues to expand beyond the Big Apple — a boon to international diners seeking the singular experience of fine dining, Le Cirque style.
Do you believe that food can act as an aphrodisiac?
Yes, I believe that food can evoke all kinds of emotions.
Are there any ingredients that you believe possess aphrodisiacal qualities?
Spices that add something extra to dishes; basil is my favorite. It’s very versatile, sweet, and makes you feel refreshed. Kind of like the perfect woman.
What dishes or drinks that you just find to be downright sexy?
Champagne has and always will be a classically sexy drink in my book.
Is there a particular dish you might suggest to someone romancing a love interest?
I love to cook; I would say the perfect date meal would be filet mignon, with white wine risotto and sautéed mushroom and onions.
Are there any dishes at Le Cirque that you might recommend to diners seeking to set the mood?
Dishes that can be shared and are not too messy are more romantic. We offer a great selection of oysters, or our Trio De Luxe, which comes with smoked salmon, foie gras, and caviar.
This can be a tough question for folks who love food, but is there any food that is un-sexy?
Too much garlic. Not fun for anyone!
Do you have any suggestions for diners seeking to make a meal at your restaurant as romantic as possible?
We will be offering a great four course menu this Valentine’s Day, but if you are looking to really take your Valentine’s Day experience to the next level, inquire about a reservation for a private dinner in Sirio’s Corner.
What are your thoughts on PDA in restaurants? Have you seen anyone take it a bit too far?
In the restaurant business, you are exposed to all different types, so, yes, I have seen some customers who have taken it too far. My advice is keep it PG rated! Remember that not everyone is comfortable with PDA.
Have you ever had any proposals in your restaurant?
Yes, we have had many, but one that sticks out in particular was a guy that proposed to his girlfriend during dinner some time ago. He had the ring brought out on the petit four plate at the end of the meal, and after she accepted, he took her upstairs to our private Egi room where their whole family was waiting. They celebrated for the rest of the night!
How might you help someone surprise their intended with an engagement ring involving food or drink?
I can remember one time we helped another customer propose to his girlfriend; he told us he wanted to pop the question during dessert. We had the waiter tell them that there was a special for dessert, “Ring in a Box.” The unsuspecting girlfriend ordered it and received a decadent assortment of chocolate desserts — and in the middle of the plate was the ring box.
If you had Valentine’s Day off and could spend it with your favorite foodie, who would that be and why?
My daughter, she is a big foodie. She loves to cook — especially dessert.
Sounds like the Le Cirque restaurant dynasty is sure to continue for generations! Happy Valentine’s Day to you and the whole Maccioni family.
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