Once a year my aunt and uncle, well-heeled cooks and foodies who live on the Upper East Side, take me out for a fantastic dinner. Usually they choose the place, but this year I've been given free rein. I'd like to choose a place where the noise level isn't insane (they're getting hard of hearing) and the crowd not too young/trendy (i.e. nowhere in the meatpacking district). I like small cozy locavore-ish places myself (Little Owl and its ilk), but with them we usually do something a little more upscale more spacious. Places I've been with them include Gramercy, Bouley (their all-time favorite), Chanterelle, Montrachet (eons ago), Annisa, and Blue Hill. I'd love some new suggestions along these lines, but nothing as high-end as Per Se, and nothing straightforwardly Asian (not their thing). The neighborhood doesn't matter as long as it's Manhattan.
Please don't suggest any of Mario Batali's restaurants or anything of Jean-George's (or Daniel). They have something against these chefs and their places. I can't explain why, they just do.