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Lunch: Happy Birthday, Cathie Black!

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— DIANE CLEHANE

We missed Evander Holyfield by a day, but there was plenty of action to keep our attention in Michael’s jam-packed dining room today. Between the surprise birthday party for Hearst Magazines president Cathie Black on Table One, a smattering of fashionistas, and the bumper crop of beauty industry bigwigs holding court here and there, I suspect there was a fair share of business being done between bites of Cobb Salad. I noticed another interesting trend from my usual perch at the bar: This crowd really likes their cocktails. “For some reason, we are doing a lot of different drinks today,” said my friend Melinda, the bartender. Besides serving up some Shirley Temples, Melinda poured Pernod, Bellinis and Danish Murrays (That’s Aquavit and Bloody Mary mix). One diner who sat down promptly at noon ordered a Johnnie Walker Black on the rocks straight away. It beats iced tea, I guess. Bottoms up!

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Hearst Magazines president Cathie Black celebrating with a table full of media mavens (and plenty of presents!), including Harper’s Bazaar publisher Valerie Salembier and power players Jeannette Chang (long time, no see!), Michael Clinton, Ellen Levine and Donna Lagani.

2. Peter Brown, Paige Peterson and a handsome young gent.

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and George Stevens. I was thrilled to see the mayor at his regular perch after his recent trip to Austin, where he’s joined the board of his alma mater, the University of Texas. (He got both his law and journalism degrees there.) Joe was staying with his good pal Lance Armstrong, who, he told me, will be competing in this year’s Tour de France and saddling up for the major ‘Tour’ race in Italy. Lance has completely “bounced back” from his shattered collarbone, reports Joe. Just thought you’d like to know…

4. Leonard Lauder and two well-dressed gals we didn’t recognize …


5. Stan Shuman and another distinguished gent.

6. Estee Lauder’s new CEO Fabrizio Freda with William Lauder, Lauder’s public relations maven Alexandra Trower and Elle‘s editor Robbie Myers and publisher Carol Smith. Second shift — just for dessert: Law & Order SVU‘s Richard Belzer and Bonnie Timmerman.

7. Hamilton South

8. Two dapper gents: New York Social Diary‘s David Patrick Columbia and Randy Jones

9. Michael J. Wolf and Bonnie Fuller

11. Rick Stengel

12. Nick Simunek

14. Hallmark channel honcho Henry Schleiff with Jennifer Geisser and the network’s EVP of programming, David Kenin.

15. Showtime’s main man Matt Blank and Gourmet publisher Nancy Cardone. Matt is having quite the busy week: Tomorrow night, he’s off to the premiere of 9 to 5 (He’s a producer). Give our regards to Dolly

16. The ‘Imber Gang’: Dr. Gerald Imber, Jerry Della Femina, Jeff Greenfield, Andy Bergman and Michael Kramer.

17. Judy Price , who is up and around despite having taken a nasty fall last week. Glad to see you’re on the mend!

18. Mike Ovitz and a bespectacled, dark-haired fellow.

19. Maureen Reidy

20. Michael Fireman and power luncher extraordinaire Bonnie Timmerman

21. Chris Taylor

22. Bill Ford and Eileen Ford. The legendary modeling maven looked lovely in her kelly green jacket and navy blue Belgian loafers — some things never go out of style. Classic!

23. Jerry Inzerillo

24. Martin Puris

25. Peter Price (Loved the preppy pink and green shirt and tie combo!)

26. Lynn Nesbitt

27. Showtime’s spin-meister Stu Zakim presiding over his regular ‘Boy’s Lunch.’ In attendance: Sirius XM Radio’s Patrick Riley, Peter Himler, the MPA’s Howard Polskin, NBC’s Kevin Goldman and special guest, Time Warner’s Ed Adler. Stu had to duck out early today, and it’s no wonder considering he’s got a very full plate these days. We can’t wait for the June 2 premiere party for Edie Falco‘s new series, Nurse Jackie. Thanks for the invite …

28. Larry Kramer (Good to see you!)

29. My good friend Lisa Linden and Suri Kasirer. I went over to chat with these tireless and formidable gals to see what they’ve been up to — and I got an earful. Besides being mom to an adorable two and a half-year-old daughter, Suri also has 11-month-old twin boys. We were talking about the beating (justifiably so!) the now-infamous Scarsdale mom Madlyn Primoff took on blogs from all over the world when it was reported last week that she’d left her two young children at the side of the road when she’d had enough of their bickering. We both agreed she’d crossed the line in a big way. “Kids take an infinite amount of patience,” Suri told me. We couldn’t agree more. Suri’s other full-time job as a power lobbyist and president of Kasirer Consulting keeps her Blackberry buzzing. These days Lisa and Suri’s respective firms jointly represent The Plaza, as well as Episcopal Social Services, City Meals on Wheel and several other do-gooding organizations. Whew!

Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro Dot com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.

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