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Lunch: Warren Buffett Dines & Dashes

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— DIANE CLEHANE

How about a side order of sound investment advice with that salmon? When none other than Warren Buffett showed up at Michael’s today, every head in the dining room turned his way. Even if he is ‘the world’s greatest investor,’ this legend is, by all accounts, fairly low-key when dining out. He ambled over to his table without a fuss and waited patiently for his date, Fortune‘s Carol Loomis, who has written extensively on him.

It seemed money was on everyone’s mind today. When I sat down, I found myself right next to Cosmopolitan‘s Kate White as she lunched with Jean Chatzky, the financial guru who dispenses tips on the Today show and Oprah. When Kate asked, “Do you have any questions for Jean?” I wasn’t sure where to start. So, I decided to go with whether we’d seen the bottom of the market. Jean replied, “I think we could still see some dips, but that doesn’t mean I’m not investing.” Being a financial novice myself, I also queried her on why there’s so much talk about the recession being over when employment continues to climb. She explained, “The markets are the leading indicator” while the unemployment statistics “lag a bit behind.” All of us agreed that, based on all the folks we know who are under-employed or who have just given up searching for jobs all together at the moment, the unemployment figure is actually much higher than what’s reported. I guess that means don’t take all of that money out from underneath your mattress just yet.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Mrs. Martin Bregman and pals, so we’re told.

2. The New York Post‘s Keith Kelly (love the beard!) and a fellow we didn’t recognize.

3. Warren Buffett and Carol Loomis were in and out before we even got our salads. Guess that proves the old adage ‘time is money!’

4. Men’s Health honcho Dave Zinczenko and William Morris’ Jon Rosen. Dave is everywhere these days promoting the 2010 edition of Eat This, Not That! and its low-cal cousin, Eat This, Not That! Restaurant Survival Guide: The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution. Watch out Zagats! He’s been on the Today show, Extra, and The Bonnie Hunt Show of late to reveal the staggering fat and calorie counts of some seemingly innocent-looking food. (Did you know Cosi’s Cobb salad has a whopping 55 grams of fat? Now you do!) Dave told me he was headed off to tape a segment on Rachel Ray after lunch. Perhaps he’ll helm his own show one day soon. Stay tuned.


5. Linda Wachner

6. Former New York City council president Andrew Stein, presiding over a table full of dapper gents.

7. Jonathan Wald, who is busy consulting and teaching at Columbia University’s journalism school, and yours truly

8. Cosmo editrix Kate White and Jean Chatzky

9. Publicity princess Elizabeth Harrison, looking chic in head-to-toe black.

11. Shirley Lord and Kathy Lacey

12. My good pals, producers Joan Gelman and Sandy Pearl

14. TV Guide‘s Jack Kliger

15. Steve Blacker and Nick Matarazzo

16. Shari Rollins

17. Estee Lauder’s Alexandra Trower who looked dazzling in red!

18. My good pal Lisa Linden, who was nice enough to introduce me to the charming H. Carl McCall. The former New York state comptroller is now chairman of city comptroller-elect John Liu’s transition team.

19. Beverly Cahme

20. Latina Media Venture’s Cindy Lewis

21. Arbitron’s Pierre Bouvard

23. Attorney Richard Descherer (Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s lawyer)

24. Art aficionado John Silberman

25. My friend Tom Goodman and his pal and fellow PR guy Arthur Sando. The guys are both hard at work getting ready for the benefit for Joe Torre‘s Safe at Home Foundation that’s taking place Friday night at Chelsea Piers. See you there!

26. Paramount Studios’ Don Demesquita

27. Jeff Brody

Faces in the crowd: My pals, ‘the bar-ettes,’ Kira Semler and Vi Huse, in for their customary girl’s lunch. See you next month!

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

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