I went there about a year ago and had a great meal. I made a reservation for next Saturday to take my friends who will be in from Chicago after unsuccessfully trying to book at dell'anima (which I loved) and a few other places I have been wanting to try Degustation, Freemans, Lupa. I was feeling pretty good that I got a reservation and then I saw some horrible reviews about Bar Blanc on NY Mag. Has it really gone down hill under new management? One reviewer put it on "death watch." I thought I would turn to the Chow community to see if you can confirm or deny.
If it is not a good, consistent option, can you recommend a fun place where I could get a reservation in this timeframe for four late-20s/early 30s. Nothing too fussy. I value great food and drinks over scene but want to be in a fun environment preferably with fun bars nearby for later (thinking W village, but flexible). We are down to spend some money, but I don't want them to get sticker shock from their first NYC restaurant experience ($25ish for entrees, reasonable drink prices).