Foodies, this is one for you.
"Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven" is a behind-the-scenes documentary that looks at the family behind that New York restaurant.
If you're not familiar, Le Cirque can be fairly called iconic; it was opened in 1974 by Sirio Maccioni, and almost immediately drew the power and social elite like Henry Kissinger, Tony Bennett, Regis Philbin, Donald Trump.
The problem is, by 2004, the New York restaurant scene had changed and attracting those names was, well, so 1974. The loyal regulars were still coming, but Le Cirque's business dropped. It wasn't the "in" place anymore.
The documentary begins as Le Cirque leaves its original location at the Palace Hotel, and begins a two-year move to the Bloomberg Tower.
Sirio's three sons are involved in the business. Oldest son Mario runs the Vegas Le Cirque; the youngest Mauro is in New York with dad, as is middle son Marco.
Sirio knows this new Le Cirque is the beginning of his sons' taking over the family business, and they know it too. But Sirio does not let go readily.
That's the film's central conflict because, as we all know, family = drama. So, as the family prepares for the new Le Cirque, the boys argue with their dad about how to move a restaurant drowning in legacy into the new era. Yep, it's the generation gap played out over menu items: proscuitto and melon versus foie gras ravioli.
You see them battle over nearly every detail and you see them nearly collapse as they await their New York Times review.
It's a little over an hour long, and there's so much in this film. Sirio -- that's him in the photo -- is cranky and hilarious (at one tasting he says "this is not soup for the love of God.) He drives his sons crazy; his wife Egidiana just tries to keep the peace and feed him well. And the 5 minutes or so that Woody Allen and his wife visit the restaurant say volumes about that relationship and celebrity.
On second thought, this isn't just for foodies. Everyone who sits at this table will leave, charmed and satisfied.
HBO tonight at 8pm
Jan. 1 @ 9:45pm
Jan. 4 @ 12:30 pm
Jan. 7 @ 5pm, & 11:45pm
Jan. 13 @ 12:45 pm
Jan. 17 @ 2:45 pm
Jan. 22 @ 10 am
Dec. 30 @ 10pm
Jan. 11 @ 6:45 pm
Jan. 15 @ midnight
Jan. 24 @ 8:30 am
Jan. 28 @ 8:30 & 8 pm