You might say that the restaurant industry is in Mario Maccioni’s blood. His father—the urbane restaurateur Sirio Maccioni—has set the benchmark for service and style in New York City’s restaurant scene for more than 37 years at the fabled Le Cirque, and his mother, Egidiana, and two brothers are in the business as well. In fact, they are all in the business together with a common goal: to bring the finest dining experience to their clientele.
In 1997, developer Steve Wynn approached the Maccioni family about opening outposts of their restaurants at Bellagio. Excited by the prospect of getting to create and run two new restaurants in America’s dining frontier, Maccioni convinced his family they should jump at the chance and he headed west to open Le Cirque and Circo in Las Vegas. Both were instant successes, and in 1999, the Maccioni brothers were named one of “The New Tastemakers” in Nation’s Restaurant News’ annual ranking. In 2009, the Maccioni family opened their third Las Vegas restaurant, Sirio Ristorante at the Aria Resort and Casino Las Vegas. In addition, to three Las Vegas restaurants, Mario is involved in all of the Maccioni properties including Le Cirque and Circo in New York City as well as restaurants in the Dominican Republic (Le Cana Restaurant & Lounge by Il Circo and Beach Club by Le Cirque both at the exclusive Casa de Campo Resort) and in New Delhi, India (Le Cirque at The Leela Palace Kempinski). In addition, the family has partnered with Holland American cruises to offer “An Evening at Le Cirque” in the Pinnacle Grill aboard its fleet of 15 world class ships.
How did you get into the restaurant industry?
Working a summer job. as opposed to delivering the paper, I answered the phones at Le Cirque and the rest is history.
What are the most popular dishes at Sirio and what is your favorite?
Ossobuco and the crab garganelli are popular. My favorite the sirio salad which is the classic: tuscan bean, tuna confit, raw onion and olive oil.
How do you stay successful within such a volatile and competitive industry?
Attention to detail and an ever evolving menu encourage people to understand that we seek to constantly introduce people to new flavors.
How important does the design/architecture of your restaurant play into its success?
It's very important. Whether it is a million dollar buildout or an eclectic assemblage of cheap used furniture... the physical space is an inescapable element of the experience.
What is your life motto?
"Don't worry, be happy."
How important is location in selecting the creation of a new restaurant?
Location is extremely important. The choice between a highly trafficked street versus a 'destination' can determine business volume.
What is your go-to travel destination and why?
The Mojave Desert in the southwestern United States is a place of awesome and austere beauty.
What's next for the Maccioni Group?
Le Cirque Brasserie in Palm Beach, Circo in Dubai, Le Cirque Signature in Bangalore and Le Cirque in Abu Dhabi
To gain industry experience, he landed a job opening the food and beverage program at New York’s Rihga Royal Hotel (now the London NYC) and headed to Europe to immerse himself in the workings of the front of the house for some of the top chefs in France, including Roger Vergé and Paul Bocuse. After two years, he decided to seriously commit himself to the family business and enrolled in the prestigious Hotel and Hospitality Management program at Cornell University. Upon his return to New York City, Maccioni and his two younger brothers, Marco and Mauro, decided to open Circo, a casual complement to the celebrated Le Cirque that opened to critical acclaim.
Maccioni lives in Las Vegas with his three children and wife, Maria. In his spare time, he likes to ski and read about politics.
At Sirio Ristorante, contemporary interpretations of traditional Italian dishes inspired by the Tuscan standards of Maccioni’s youth are served in a beautiful and engaging environment. The menu offers a variety of pastas and appetizers to simple and robust entrees. With its Fellini-esque décor, an emphasis on hospitality, and one of the most impressive selections of Italian vintages in New York, Sirio Ristorante brings old-time Italy to New York City.