I am back in NYC (from San Francisco), and once again looking for advice for where to do a dinner gift for my hosts.
Last time, based on your generously-given recs, we went to CAFE CLUNY with these friends, and LAVAGNA with a different set of friends. CC was a a solid success. LAVAGNA was mostly good but there were a dish or two which didnt work (friend picked Italian over CLUNY and BLAU GANZ).
This time, I'm considering LA SIRENE (extremely excited to see TOURNEDOS ROSSINI, and $10 BYO is cool), GENTLEMAN FARMER, LOURO, BISRO LES AMIS, BERLYN, RUCOLA, TRAIF (yes, BK, not MH). I'm prefering these to CHEZ NAPOLEON, COCOTTE (menu appears very small?), PHILOSOPHE. MAIALINO not realistic? They are often at ODEON and recently at BALTHAZAR, so I nixed those eventhough I havent been.
So in addition to any advice on these, I'm completely open to other options. Last time I asked for advice, people said being specific was actually helpful rather than coming off as offputtingly picky, so in that spirit ...
--Probably somewhere below 14th St and above Canal.
They work in the Wall Street and Tribeca area, so they want to get out of the shadow of their offices. And post-outing, our base is in Prospect Hts.
--Realistically avail 7-7:30 tonight for 3 person ... TODAY!
[Fri 5/8 ... yeah, yeah, I just flew in and original plan was for SAT]. We're willing to wait ~1hr if walk-ins are a normal part of business.
--Let's say $80-$100/person with drinks, pre-tax/tip.
I'm thinking pre-din cocktail, food, 2 glasses of wine person or 1 bottle and 1 glass. [somewhat awkwardly a friend of theirs may announce he is meeting us, so I may have to treat him too, which is what happened at CLUNY. He's an ok guy, but a bit tacky and our friendship has more reached its asymptotic limit, rather than continuing upwards ... I dont want to say "it isnt about the money" but it's at least partly that I was offened by the tactlessness. Indeed I was hoping my friend's son could make it.]
--Mostly looking at American/Euro.
Not Asian, Middle Eastern, Mexican. Although should I consider RED FARM?
--All criteria somewhat elastic.
e.g. a couple of blocks toward FLATIRON ok, but not say UES. 1.5 hr wait probably ok, if "circumstances" are nice, etc.
--Do any of my options not fit my criteria?
"TRAIF impossible at that time, REDFARM impossible in your price range" etc.
Advice greatly appreciated and will be happy to provide after-dinner feedback.