The more staid contingent of my pals rarely ventures downtown for a meal. I inevitably have to come uptown to them and am, inevitably, disappointed by the pleasant but has-been and relatively unimaginative fare I eat when we're out. This time around, we're going out on a Saturday night and they've agreed to head down my way. We're 5 40-somethings. As I dine out alot and am the only single one and will have to bear much discussion about their kids' soccer leagues, one personal priority is a solid cocktail. Price isn't an issue. Can be in pretty much any neighborhood though I'm particularly fond of my general vicinity and they won't want to venture to the outer boroughs. I'm not keen on stuffy or fussy. I don't want something completely off the walls. I am seeking a place with a great vibe and equally good food. Finally, I want a place that isn't so incredibly loud that we can't hear the conversation (went to Empellion the other night and this was my big complaint. I came back from dinner hoarse.). I have a few places in mind (maybe Tertullia or ABC Kitchen...) but would appreciate your input. Something sort of new-ish, cool and fun would be great.
Much thanks in advance.