My first visit to The Four Seasons was in late 1978. I was working as a writer at Time, and the dust from the Canadian provinces was still fluttering from the hem of my thick tweed jacket. The famous New York restaurants in those days—or at least the ones we had heard about up North—were Mamma Leone's, “21”, Lutèce, the Oak Room, and The Four Seasons. For that first visit to The Four Seasons, I went with a friend who was visiting from Toronto. Being nobodies, we were seated not in the Grill Room where the mandarins of commerce and the arts nibbled their fish and baked potato, but in the Pool Room, which was filled with genteel people who had taken the train in for a day of shopping and culture. I was to learn that at lunch, the Pool Room was Siberia. To this import from the North, it was the most beautiful Siberia in the world.