Need a place to take a young couple from UK now living in Boston via Asia for dinner on a Thursday night in a few weeks. They've never been to NYC. We've never met (friends of friends), so it would be nice to hear each other talk, but a lively scene is important, since they're interested in getting a feel for NYC.
I'm thinking mexican, new american, italian or french (no asian). Would also like to spend around $50 pp with drinks if that's doable.
Prefer West Village/TriBeCa/Soho or Chelsea if necessary.
Was thinking about Balthazar, but is that too trite?
Thanks for any thoughts.