In the current edition of Bon Apetit, Grimes writes the NY section of the "Year in Review" of the "Restaurant Reporter". I disagree with many of his assessments, particularly with respect to Otto and Mix :0
Best casual: Otto
Not worth the hype: WD-50 (I might agree slightly with this)
Best place you've never heard of: 36 Bar and Barbecue (sp) (Korean)
Best value: Mix. Grimes misleadingly reports that four courses for $58 "counts as a steal" (maybe that's for the Musts de Mix and First de Mix?); what he omits is that the typical three-course with a main course (counting courses the normal way) is over $70, if I recall correctly.
Best cocktail list: Suenos
Best scene: Lever House