I'm planning a surprise party for my mom, who'll be flying to Manhattan for her birthday weekend. Price and neighborhood not major concerns, but must meet the following criteria:
1) Authentic Italian: non-cheesy yet unpretentious;
2) Although I guess I won't be able to find a private room for a party of 10 (though I'd love one), I wouldn't want the sort of place where the tables are too close together, as there will be all kinds of surprise-related gasps and hollers at our table, and I want this to have an intimate feel; and
3) A celebratory place worthy of the occasion (everyone's coming from all over the country for this surprise: doesn't matter if it's quintessencially Manhattan or just new/hip, but must be memorable).
Really appreciate your thoughts... Thanks in advance.