A small group of old friends are planning to go out for a special birthday dinner (birthday boy usually cooks, but not this year) at the kind of higher-end restaurant we don't ordinarily go to. It must have excellent food and service, and it must be downtown or close. We're willing to spend if it's worth it. Several of us are Slow Food members, so lean toward local, seasonal. We're not interested in fusion or trendy food.
We originally thought Avalon before it closed, but then heard/read enough recent grumblings to make us wonder. Just went through several months of postings here and Splendido seems a guaranteed winner, though painful on the pocketbook. Boba and Auberge get mixed reviews. George? Perigee? Pangea?
(Jamie Kennedy and Scaramouche, because of fairly recent visits, are not options.)
Thanks for any and all recommendations!