So, I have not been back to New York in the last year, and am having some trouble narrowing down where I should go when I'm in town for a coming long weekend. I'm looking for about three dinner places for a mid-sized group and maybe two or three brunch/lunch choices. I had long ago made a dinner reservation at A Voce, but am faced with some reluctance by dining companions who think it will be very stiff. Ideally the location will be south of Midtown. So the dinner choices at this point seem to be: A Voce, Resto, Momofuku Ssam, Maremma, Fig and Olive, Waverly Inn, P*ong, Budakkan (reluctantly).
I need help, either with other suggestions or with a narrowing down of the ones that I have. Somewhere enjoyably un-stuffy/decently hip but with serious food; in other words, something that will keep the scene-y friends as happy as the foodies. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.