I just thought I'd randomly interject some of the best places in Manhattan that I've ever had the pleasure of visiting. The first is a tiny, Northern Italian restaurant bet. 82nd and 83rd on 2nd Ave called Mangiarini. It's very easy to miss so look carefully on the west side of the avenue (I believe it's between a bar and a hardware store). Here are the dishes I recommend:
-Eggplant stuffed with smoked mozzarella and parmesan cheese with marinara sauce
-Calamari: Their calamari is amazing. The rings are small and not too chewy at all and is served with a deliciously different caper aioli.
-Orecchiette (small clam-shell-shaped pasta) with sausage, cherry tomatoes, and fennel
-Banana Bread Pudding with a cinnamon caramel sauce: SOOOOOOOOOOO good, a definite must-order, but v. rich
The last place I want to recommend is another little place called El Malecon Restaurant where they serve possibly the best roasted chicken and rice I have ever had. You must order the roasted chicken "Malecon style". It is so flavorful that you don't even need the sauces that come with it (but the sauces are great so use them anyway). The chicken goes perfectly with their yellow rice. I've never had any of their other dishes, but if they are half as good as their chicken....