Grace or AOC or Angelini Osteria
Your vote for the very important dinner with best friends?
When I'm with friends, I'm all about AOC. Lots of wine and lots of passing around of the small plates -- it's perfect for a group atmosphere.
They're all great. It's probably worth calling to see which of them have availability for your group, that might help you whittle down your choices. I personally would pick AOC.
Haven't been to angelini yet, but I love Grace and AOC; I'm with saucesupreme, AOC wins out for a group...
"Very Important" meaning you want to be able to hear each other?
Then scratch out AOC & AO, only option is Grace.
IF, and only if, your best friends are foodies and you will all be able to enjoy sharing the many tastes that AOC offers, then AOC is great. The nature of the small plates concept however, means that the meal will be more staggered with much more frequent interruptions for ordering the next round of whatever, etc.
But if the dinner is "important" in the sense that you want to have serious conversation with fewer interuptions,etc., then I would go to Grace.
I love Angelini, but it can be very loud with some much going on in such a small space.