Forgive the long introduction...
Telling stories over this holiday season family, my parents and inlaws both shared great stories of dining at small restaurants 'back in the day' with great connections to waiters and staff. Small italian places in western Mass or upstate New York where you would call the restaurant and request a reservation, and they would negotiate what might be served - almost like a professional style supper club. The best answer to the chef when he asked 'What would you be interested in having?' was 'what would you like to prepare?' and you would be in the chef's very capable hands for a great evening and meal.
All that as a way of introduction, having had those discussions with and in front of my [need another term but foodie] daughter, we asked her what she wanted to do for her 16th birthday dinner, she asked if there was a place like those her grandparents discussed.
So - I don't think there's one like that here... I don't know that there's any like that around really anywhere anymore. But are there restaurants with a nice small feel and a great connection to waitstaff and kitchen? I've experienced some of that at Asti and Fino back when I'd taken some classes from Chef Fox, and had a great time at Packwood's short-lived restaurants again due to connections through CM cooking classes. I'm likely to look to Asti or Fino again, but does anyone else have a suggestion?
Does anyone know of a restaurant which does a chef's table which isn't just kitchen theater? I ask about chef's tables as I had a great experience talking and sharing great food with a small restaurant at a chef's table in British Columbia a few years ago.