A tiny, charming French bakery, Chez Isabelle (sp?), has opened on Seventh Avenue near 15th Street. Everything looks delicious, and I can attest for the sables and the leek quiche. You can watch the baker in the mornings, in the workspace behind the counter. Isabelle, the owner, is quite warm and welcoming.
Also, here's an idea I'm almost afraid to suggest, but nevertheless....One lunchtime option is the cafeteria at New York Methodist Hospital. [Full disclosure: I work there, but have absolutely no stake in the cafeteria; I've just been pleasantly surprised with the food quality of late.) There are two good chefs now (one trained in Italy, the other in Austria)and the food is quite good and reasonable. The salad bar is great: really fresh greens, and items like roasted endive salad, fresh fig and melon salad, herb crusted goat cheese, etc. Typical hot entrees are filet of sole with lemon caper sauce, lamb shank w/ shallots, roasted red potatoes, grilled portobello mushrooms w/ spinach and goat cheese, etc.