Trouble is, all those lunches seem so... public. What you need is a retreat, an underground haven away from prying eyes, packs of journos and the occasional telescopic microphone.
Someplace like Sidecar, the new semi-private dining den nestled below the new P.J. Clarke’s downtown, taking memberships for its opening next week.
This is the kind of place where Sinatra would rub elbows with senators (and probably a senator’s wife or two). Your first order of business: obtaining a membership card, which you can get via referral or by applying. (Feel free to leave out the “Under” in “Under Secretary of Commerce.”)
When you show up with your fellow power brokers, you’ll flash your card and be ushered down a staircase made from a solarium that once belonged to Walt Disney. At the bottom, you’ll enter a private room of brick, hardwood, presidential portraits and a bar salvaged from Baltimore that contains a bullet hole behind the glass.
You’ll order rounds of martinis, Manhattans and, yes, sidecars, while you await your establishment-approved bounty of oysters, lobster rolls and dry-aged New York steaks.
When you’ve got one hand on the levers of power, you prefer that the other is on a lobster roll.