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When we showed up at a photo op for New York's Summer Restaurant Week at Eleven Madison Park, a tall, affable gentleman offered us a tray of pastries. We took one, naturally (it was lunch time), and they were divine. But little did we know that our server was New York restaurant impresario Danny Meyer, owner of the gorgeous restaurant.
Meyer, who is known for the impeccable service at his restaurants, had an interesting temp for the day: Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who showed up to promote the week of $20 prix fixes lunches being served at more than 130 Manhattan restaurants. Happy for a reprieve from the questions surrounding the assaults on women following the Puerto Rican Day Parade, Giuliani goofily pretended to be a waiter, helping two tables of diners on either side of the podium. He also listened as Eleven Madison Park chef Kerry Heffernan explained what the diners were eating.
“These are the best restaurants in the world,” Giuliani told the group of reporters, photographers and camera operators assembled in the restaurant's upstairs meeting room, which offers a nice view of the main dining room. Surrounded by chefs from some of the restaurants participating in the week, he also thanked Meyer for his work as chairman of the restaurant committee of NYC & Company, New York's convention and visitor's bureau. Also on hand was Cristyne Lategano-Nicholas, president and CEO of NYC & Company.