My best friend and I will be in the city for ONE night (March 15) and want to go somewhere with a lively, fun atmosphere and good food (we are in our mid 30s). Cool neighborhood with places to have drinks before/after dinner is a plus. I made reservations at Public and Empellon Cocina, but am open to others as well. Budget around $300 including tax, tip, drinks. Tried to get into Locanda Verde and Babbo with no luck. Also wondering about Beauty and Essex or Stanton Social...or Death & Co. I wouldn't mind popping in to one of those for a drink--do I need to make a res? Any advice appreciated!