Mom and Dad's 40th Anniversary
So my sister and I were planning to treat my parents to a celebratory dinner this coming Saturday, 3/20. Our original plans fell through, and now we are scrambling for a new option. Please do not criticize my lack of detail -- I know I can get killed on Chowhound for vagueness, so I'm trying my best to be clear about what matters.
Criteria (from most to least important):
1. Available (if it's on Opentable, that's a good sign -- we're looking for 3/20 at 8 or 8:30)
2. Good energy -- we like to converse, so not too noisy, but we're also not a rowdy group and will benefit from a room with a lot of buzz.
3. Ambiance = simple elegance. They would be fans, for instance, of wooden farm-style tables.
4. Good service -- it's for their anniversary, so hitting the right notes on service will be important.
5. Italian, French or American baseline cuisine. Food should also be slightly inventive (they eat out a lot and will appreciate a classic dish prepared with fresh and familiar ingredients in a novel way) but not "out there." It goes without saying that if you're recommending it, you personally like it.
6. Manhattan (east side preferred) or Brooklyn.
7. Cost is not a huge issue, but I would say we don't want to spend more than $100/pp total (inc. tax/tip/wine) for six people.
Checking Opentable I see there are many places I would otherwise recommend that are fully booked. Of what is available, here are some ideas:
Park Avenue Bistro
Tabla (but the earliest is 9:00)
If you were considering La Grenouille (which will NOT fit your stated budget) you might consider Picholine.
You're absolutely right, gos. But as rrems points out, La Grenouille was under consideration, and there's no way to get out of there for $100pp either. Well, maybe if you do the two-course prix fixe for $78 and drink only "Chateau Bloomberg." That's, of course, during prime time. If you go between 5 and 6 p.m. and after 9:30 p.m., there is the $59 Theater Menu, $79 with wine pairings. At Picholine, there is no such comparable option..