I was recently in Manhattan for business and was well aware of all the "hot" spots to go for dinner. I was even staying at the swanky Hudson Hotel on my Company's dime.
I was looking for food. Good food, not exorbitantly priced and a nice atmosphere. After my morning meetings and a afternoon of navigating the subway for the first time, I ended up in Tribeca. Lost and unsure of where to go I found a very helpful local that suggested his fave place Grace. What a wonderfully surprising place after all the trendy stuff that I encountered. The service was impeccable and the food was great. I ordered Mussels Frites and my dining companion ordered their plate of the day, which was a lovely pasta dish of Mussels and fresh linguine. Not fancy dishes to be sure, but for the value, ambience and freshness well worth a visit to this neighborhood spot.
On a side note, Anyone that may have the "myth" that New Yorkers are rude, crash and unfriendly" you go ahead and keep thinking that, I on the other hand will enjoy the absolutely wonderful city and the amazing people that inhabits it.