My wife and I just returned from our 37th trip in the last 20 years. We go mainly for the theater, shopping and to eat. Of course, shopping has slipped a lot in NY during that time due to the movement into the City (and the proliferation) of big national chains and the demise of so many smaller interesting places. There is little left that is even the slightest bit unique.
However, it was not until this trip that we ever came across the giant corporate chain restaurant service designed to put hicks at ease, that is so commonplace nearly everyplace elsewhere in America these days. For the very first time we got the phony-friendly first name introduction treatment by a waiter (and it happened four times!) at Orso, Trattoria dell'Arte, Keen's Steak House and Del Frisco. And we got even got the "I'll be taking care of you" spiel at the last three. I guess this could be expected to happen at Del Frisco, as I discovered that it was a part of a small national chain. At Aurora in Soho we were called "guys" six times and were told to "have a good one," when we departed. Luckily, we also went to Katz's deli and got the same gruff NY service that we have come to love. We did not try the Palm, which used to be the same way.