Pearl & Ash, The Marrow, Le Philosophe, or Lincoln?
Looking for an excellent dinner with 2 old friends. Which stands out?
I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. I haven't been to Pearl & Ash yet but the other three are excellent. They're quite different so pick based on which cuisine/vibe appeals the most. Lincoln is a grand room and the most formal and expensive of your choices and obviously refined Italian food. Le Philosophe has more of a neighborhood feel and can be quite loud if you're there during prime hours. Excellent french classics and very reasonable pricing. The Marrow is somewhere between the other two - more quiet and subdued that LP but less stodgy than Lincoln. Food draws from the chef's Italian and German heritage. The bone marrow with uni and pork schnitzel there are not to be missed.
It seems worth noting that Lincoln is substantially more expensive than the other three. (To my mind, it's also substantially better.) Except for The Marrow, however -- which to me is just mediocre -- all your proposed choices are very-good-to-excellent, IMO.
When is the meal? What time do you wish to dine? Do you plan to do something like grab drinks after? Your first three choices have a lot of options nearby for post-dinner drinks and are downtown. Lincoln Center is a harder neighborhood to do this in.
Pearl & Ash doesn't take reservations. Are you willing to wait for a table?
The Marrow does on OpenTable but looks like it's mostly 5:45pm and 9pm reservations for tables for 3 for the next two weeks.
Le Philosophe is also on OpenTable as well and doesn't have any prime time tables until the 14th.
Lincoln is also on OpenTable and has a lot more prime time tables available (probably because people are dining there pre-theatre).
i thought the marrow was fine, but not great. i've eaten there twice and enjoyed my meal, but there are so many places i've eaten better--i can think of several restaurants in the neighborhood i'd recommend over the marrow for a meal with good friends: recette, barbuto, spotted pig to name just a few.