I'm getting a bit overwhelmed trying to select a restaurant for an upcoming birthday dinner for two with SO.
Babbo - we dined there years ago and have been meaning to return. We did the tasting menu (pasta only?) with wine. We really enjoyed it but were too full to really make the most of the experience. We made the mistake of not going on an empty stomach.
Esca - enjoyed a birthday dinner there, also a number of years ago. In this case one of us was feeling under the weather so we didn't really have a complete dining experience. I think we only order a course or two.
Lincoln - have been meaning to try it, especially since we love the new Lincoln Center campus, including how Lincoln Ristorante has been incorporated. We also really like Italian food, if that's not already evident.
La Grenouille - another place we've been meaning to try. I definitely want to order the Dover sole and probably a souffle (I know, it's supposed to be about SO's birthday but he would also enjoy the "French experience"). Everything I've heard about the place (fresh flowers, etc.) makes it sound like a wonderful experience.
The birthday (a Saturday) is just under a month away so I've probably already missed Babbo as an option, unless we sit at the bar which SO wouldn't want to.
We both really dislike noisy restaurants but I don't think that should be a big issue with any of the above.
Any insights or feedback from others that could help me decide?