A family friend that I get to see maybe once a year is in town. Last time she was here, I was unemployed and broke and she bought me a nice dinner. This time, I want to pay her back and take her somewhere really good, but comfortably informal (think Evvia or Zibibbo). I want to spend less than $120 all told, and have a comfortable atmosphere that won't require serious dressup. I want very good food, more on the innovative than the traditional side of things. Location wise, I'm thinking anywhere in the mid-penninsula: Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Woodside, Mountain View, etc. Most importantly, I need to be able to get a table tonight at or before 8 (we're going to a movie in downtown Palo Alto at 9:45).
Evvia, predictably, was unable to get a reservation for us at the right time. Zibibbo is huge and generally not hard to get into, but I've been there a lot lately so it's my last resort. Any ideas? (Anyone tried Trellis, or Bistro Elan? Or the new Vietnamese in Palo Alto called Tamarin (I think)? Or the new place in Mountain View next to Babbo steakhouse? Or...?)