Got a pretty clear idea that some staffs hate RW, starting with Smith & Wollensky. Fortunately, after one well-made drink in their bar, we were able to call around and find a place that wasn't participating in RW: Laurel.
This seemed like a good RW alternative, as a typical meal there doesn't much exceed $30/head anyway. It was surprisingly quiet for a Friday night -- perhaps some combination of late summer and RW -- which is to say it was full but not packed. We got seated immediately.
We had a terrific dinner (turkey meatball pasta special and the sirloin entree, all of $40 for two huge dishes), split a $6.50 dessert (oversized and lemony, just fine), and splurged on wine ($35 for a Cote du Rhone, a deluxe bottle on this list). As usual, friendly and attentive service. The crowd looked pretty local, a merciful respite from the odd, noisy, decidedly suburban crowds we've seen elsewhere this week.