Here's a little summary of our food experience--we just returned to LA after a few days in Manhattan. I did my homework before we went and got some really helpful info from you hounds.
We arrived Wed eve and walked over to Gramercy Tavern. It was about 9:30pm. The hostess first told us it would be over an hour, but then she reassessed her waitlist and told us it wouldn't be too long. We waited maybe 15 mins. The service was extremely professional and competent. We ordered all appetizers and each was yummy--rabbit leg, portebello salad, octopus salad, scallops. And a cheese plate. Fabulous bread. Lovely wine choices. We went back there late Fri eve. WE called when we were 5 mins away and were told an hour wait. There was no wait. It was 11ish--the kitchen closes at midnight. The service was terrible--they musta been shortstaffed but we were almost ignored. My salad was salty. Butternut squash puree was cold. Bread was almost burnt. But husband loved his oysters and quail.
Had lunch with mother-in-law at new cafeteria at Met. museum. Good salads with fresh ingredients.
Went to Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop for hot chocolate (from a package). Great New York experience.
Had a blizzardy lunch at Pain Quoditien. Haughty waiters and so-so food. Spinach soup was watery and bland. Ham sandwich was fine. Atmosphere--those long tables--was great.
Dinner at Pergola des Artistes. Awful! (I was warned on this board but it wasn't our choice.) The place was empty. Bread was burned--as if it was the second go round. Bouillabase was tasteless--old, overcooked fish, rubbery scallops. The stock was tasteless. We moaned about this place all the next day--what a waste of a Manhattan meal!
Our hotel stocked H&H bagels for cont. breakfast, so I was happy and we skipped Second Ave. Deli.
You are all so lucky to live in a city with such incredible food...I'm already planning my next visit!