This is an embarrassment of riches situation--I read the threads and know the reps, but I don't eat out much myself often in this neighborhood, and want to be able to chill out and enjoy the food and the company.
Scenario--old friend coming to town, staying midtown west/Hells Kitchen. He's not against leaving the neighborhood, but I'd probably limit it to west side above 20th St. to the lower Upper West. I'm looking for dinner on a Sunday night, really good food in a low key atmosphere (e.g., price no object, but I don't want to go somewhere where I'm going to be thinking about my posture)--the trick is I probably want to have a longer meal to maximize chatting time, if that's possible. Any cuisine is fine (Thai is a particular favorite of my friend's, but I know better for my target area) except for sushi and anything too shellfish-centric (allergy).
So for those of you really familiar with that area--where do you go when you just want to have a hazy lazy lovely evening with a friend?