Hi. I'm the guy who wrote the post on Balthazar a couple of days ago, after having brought guests from out of town there.
So now our guests want to take us out--BUT--they want us to choose the restuarant.
The group will be two 40-ish women, one 20-something woman, my wife and I. One of the 40-ish women is six months pregnant, and can't eat raw foods (so sushi, raw bars, etc., are out.) Also, while we all enjoy wine, she won't be drinking, and our two other guests don't seem like wine snobs. All of us are pretty adventurous eaters.
Here's the thing--even though our guests are well off, I'd like to keep their expense to roughly what we paid at Balthazar (appr. $340 incl. tip) or less, but I also want to make sure that we choose a memorable place for them. They're staying at the Helmsley on CPS, and both my wife and I work in midtown, so I think we'd want to keep it to midtown or UWS. And my wife and I have been to China Grill, Judson's, Trattoria, Molyvos, Cite about a million times.
Can anyone provide some interesting suggestions?