EMERGING pleasantly sated from an overdose of fine wining and dining this past weekend, The Capitalist was intrigued to see two City institutions taking a stand on how to deal with the effect of the recession on the Square Mile lunch market.<br /><br />A little bird at Gaucho &ndash; catering for the red-blooded males and less-than-faint-hearted females of the business world with its meaty Argentinian steaks &ndash; tells me the restaurant has been doing a roaring trade over the course of the crisis, having just opened its latest branch on Charlotte Street. <br /><br />And the reason? An ever-increasing number of City boys attempting to replace a weighty wallet with an even weightier piece of meat, apparently. <br />Orders of the largest cuts of steak on Gaucho&rsquo;s menu, which top the scales at one colossal kilogram a pop, have rocketed since the start of the downturn &ndash; and I&rsquo;m assured they&rsquo;re not just for sharing.<br /><br />&ldquo;We have had lots of men ordering the largest steaks on their own recently, and they are nearly always from the City,&rdquo; chirps my little bird. &ldquo;Perhaps they&rsquo;re trying to prove they&rsquo;re still macho even without their multimillion-pound bonuses&hellip;&rdquo;<br /><br />And for those keen to develop their macho image yet further, a trip to the new Eight club on Moorgate should be in order. The newly-opened rooftop members&rsquo; club has introduced its own challenge of sorts in an attempt to entice in cash-strapped customers, introducing a &pound;45 four-course menu which includes an unlimited amount of Taittinger champagne. <br /><br />Something tells me the promoters aren&rsquo;t aware of the amount of the sparkly stuff City folk have been known to put away in one short sitting...<br /><strong><br />STAR STRUCK<br /></strong>It&rsquo;s no wonder London mayor Boris Johnson has taken to stardom like a duck to water, since he&rsquo;s been getting advice from the best of&rsquo;em.<br /><br />Johnson &ndash; who was on the cover of this month&rsquo;s Elle magazine and has an upcoming cameo in Eastenders &ndash; is breakfasting today with Kevin Spacey, artistic director of the Old Vic, and Simon Robey, the head of Morgan Stanley UK, in order to discuss the impact of the recession on the arts.<br /><br />But though Boris is a big fan of Spacey&rsquo;s films, he&rsquo;ll be unfazed by the experience after cycling alongside beauty Kelly Brook on his Skyride initiative yesterday and rubbing shoulders with actress Emma Thompson in New York last week at a dinner party chez NY mayor Michael Bloomberg. How the other half do live.<br /><strong><br />GLAMOUR FACTOR<br /></strong>Speaking of celebrities, Lord Sugar might have quit his business Amstrad to roam the hallowed halls of Westminster, but it seems he hasn&rsquo;t lost his clout in Essex. The former Amstrad building in Brentwood &ndash; home to the boardroom which features in Sugar&rsquo;s reality TV show The Apprentice &ndash; has recently been converted into a new Premier Inn hotel, set to open its doors later this month. <br /><br />The opening is causing waves among the local yokels, over 500 of whom have applied for one of 15 new jobs at the hotel. Who&rsquo;s betting the novelty factor will have worn off within an hour of starting in the job?<br /><strong><br />BOY RACER<br /></strong>BGC Partners president Shaun Lynn must have given himself a pat on the back at the weekend after an impressive race at the Goodwood Revival festival. Lynn took a break from his City duties to indulge his passion for motor racing, coming fifth out of 30 in his Goodwood race in a classic 1962 Tojeiro Jaguar, owned by his friend.<br /><br />&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve always loved racing,&rdquo; Lynn tells me. &ldquo;I actually own a 1963 AC Cobra which was not invited by Lord March this time around, but there&rsquo;s always next year&hellip;&rdquo;