Thanks to the many accurate, timely recs on this board, this weekend I enjoyed two near-ideal meals convenient to previously booked jazz clubs:
Went to Bouchon Friday and had a zingy warm squid salad followed by perfectly cooked duck--not wet nor dry, but slightly charred outside and pink in, with red cabbage and roasted apples. The dude had a Russian salad and rolled veal breast and was HAPPY. Whole meal with wine was about $80, and though we didn't have a res (shame on us), the proprietor was very gracious. Swung by Village Vanguard after for some Roy Hargrove (whose drummer Willie Jones III deserves special mention).
Sat. went to Uncle Nick's Ouzaria, which, though not outstanding, was very good, softly lit, and was hopping. Greek salad, fried smelts, salt cod, thick tzatziki with dill, dolmades, and excellent pita. All, with retsina, about $70, for two. Also, when we left I kept rethinking my menu choices, because I think there was good stuff to mine that I didn't get to. NB: the smelts were soggy and the salad was enough to feed downtown Athens. Walked two blocks to Iridium for Cyrus Chestnut's trio, where we paid more just to sit there while they did all the work.
Point is, I'm grateful to have the information herein, which helped me to put together an unbroken run of fun.
Added tip: for those who need to cool their jets in Murray Hill, the salade nicoise at Chez Laurent on Madison is a perfect, classic rendition.