This is my first post on Chowhound so I apologize in advance for any lack of standard etiquette.
I work in the music industry and thus from time to time find myself dining out with artists and their entourages. I often have trouble in New York finding high-end, fashionable restaurants where jeans, sneakers and other items in the average artist's closet are not just barely tolerated but respected and welcomed. Sushi is somewhat easier, as many of the better Japaneses restaurants forego the dress code, but I would really appreciate your suggestions with regard to casual but upscale Italian, Thai/Pan-Asian, and French (oxymoronic as that may be) cuisine in the city. Downtown is strongly preferred, and chains should be avoided if possible.
Thank you in advance, and I am really looking forward to your suggestions!