I have a firm rule that I don't cook when my husband is out of town
Thanks for the recommendations, I'll give my friend a choice between the two. Said birthday is not actually till December; but I just found out I'm going to be alone so I'm preplanning. She wants to include some of her friends to give it more of a "party" feel, so it sounds like we may need the lead time to get a reservation for a group.
I'm kind of a fuddy-duddy myself; I bet either of them will be perfect!
"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating." -Luciano Pavarotti