Visiting the city in a couple of weeks to celebrate a round birthday. I'm generally inclined to go the Italian route (BYOB even better, saved a nice couple of bottles that were presents for other birthdays), as there is no good Italian food to speak of where I live. Unless I make it myself.
In the past, I have liked Paradiso, Osteria, Porcini.
I see that both Melograno and Branzino are super-popular. Is it a toss-up, or is one more 'festive' than the other? I guess since it's a celebration of sorts, I'd like to avoid any place where one has to yell at each other to have a simple conversation.
Staying near Rittenhouse, so both are easy to get to.
Of course, if anyone would like to suggest a 'can't miss, excellent for bdays' resto, please feel free. It doesn't HAVE to be Italian, just something special that won't break the bank.
I made an opentable rez at Branzino just to be on the safe side, but can obviously change this.