Single Guys Looking For Restaurant For Friday Night
It might help to know what sort of food (and crowds) that you and your friends enjoy. And has it been a long time since you last saw your university chums? Is talking and catching up a significant part of the agenda (I once stayed up all night at L'Express talking to my first-year roommate -- it's open 24 hours)?
How long has it been since you went to university (ie what age demographic)? There are a couple of lads who've made a name for themselves writing resto reviews for the post-uni set:
Note that, aside from the usual categories, they offer some more specialised criteria, eg 'Drunk Hook Ups', 'Laughing at Euros', and 'Scoping Hot Girls'.
If I may offer a a near arbitrary suggestion, have you considered DBGB? It's adjacent to the evening crowds in Nolita, offers a large bar up front, a considerable selection of imported and craft beers, and respectable food for a Francophile trencherman (sausages, burgers, etc).
249 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10003
299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003