No need to spend a long time with long answers and reviews... just would love to make a quick decision to "X" any restaurants that are not fantastic out of my list.
I've seached all previous reviews for these choices, but there aren't many reviews where more than two at a time are mentioned or compared together... I am sure they are all very different restaurants, I don't know a lot about them except that they've been on my list basically the whole time I've lived in New York!
Particular emphasis on the atmosphere and the food creativity/quality.
August - (which I know is fantastic, so more of a comparison)
The 7 course tasting menu at Annisa is fantastic, as is the service and the atmosphere. Never been to August so I can't compare it for you.
I was at Apizz last March and thought it was great. The setting is very cozy and the food was very good. When I couldn't decide between two entrees they were more than happy to give me a half portion of each. I thought that the open ravioli was absolutely delicious.
Agreed -here's my recent review - http://www.chowhound.com/topics/441962 . I've also been to Annisa recently and, although I never got around to posting a full review, had a wonderful meal. I'd agree that Ouest is a bit more casual, and perhaps that the food at Annisa is a bit more innovative. Haven't been to the other places.