We're celebrating my mother's 70th birthday this weekend in Manhattan. We are only staying one night (Sunday) and having the main celebration at Picholine after theater. On Monday, "the girls" are shopping in the morning and we need to join up with my dad for another meal before heading to the airport in the late afternoon. The mood should be festive, not stuffy, and hopefully, someplace we haven't been before on our many previous visits to NY
We received two suggestions, Le Bernadin and Nougatine, but neither is quite right in my opinion. Although budget isn't really an issue, we don't think we need to do a big $64 prix fixe meal when we had the main celebration the night before. On the other hand, Nougatine's prix fixe seems unnecessarily limiting, with only two choices in each part of the meal.
My aunt, who lives in the Village, says we should just scrap all the options uptown and head downtown. While we are willing to cab it for the right place, it seems we would be able to find something less out of our way, but I am open to all suggestions. Thanks!