After leaving New York City in 1996, I am returning to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of a close friend and need help choosing a restaurant (Union Square, Soho or the Village (East or West)) for seven men to have a great meal over great conversation. The problem is that my knowledge of the NYC food scene is frozen at a time when SPY was a hip bar (or so I heard from behind the rope), Gray Kunz was the chef at Lespinasse (where I could not afford to eat) and you still needed to know the secret telephone number at Balthazar to obtain a reservation (which I did not know). I have seacrched this Board and found plenty of information on steakhouses; however, I'm looking for something different.
In particluar, I have always considered Grammercy Tavern a paradign for great food coupled with great service and am hoping to find another restaurant that fits the bill. If anyone has any recommendations, including, but not limited to, any places that pair wines with courses, I would greatly appreciate it. Although were are not a rowdy bunch, it would be helpful if a conversation above a whisper would not intrude on the enjoyment of our fellow diners.
Thanks in advance.