I'm going to be in Manhattan on a Tues and Weds this month (February), and I will be on my own during the day. I feel odd taking up a table as a solo diner, and feel more comfortable eating at the bar where the service can be a little less 'fussy' (while taking only a single seat.) Given my schedule I could show up as early as 11:40am to beat the working lunch crowd.
What I'm looking for is an experience I might not otherwise have (a 'treat' of sorts) -- in other words, I'm not looking for the dive that serves the best tongue tacos with a corona. On the other hand, I am not prepared to spend $500 for sushi omakase. I'm willing to spend up to $100.
To narrow things, I'm looking for New American, modern French, modern Italian, or Japanese (possibly other Asian cuisine.) I'd especially like some seafood and vegetable options. I hate to have to mention it, but I will be wearing nice shoes and a button down long sleeve shirt, but I will not be wearing a suit. I really don't mind being under-dressed as long as no-one is offended, but I'd rather not be in a situation where I'm dealing with any awkwardness about my lack of a jacket, etc.
The last time I was looking for something like this I went to Le Bernardin for lunch and it was a very nice experience.
Thank you for your collective wisdom...