Had a great time thanks to lurking on this board. Most of these places are thoroughly reviewed so won't spend a lot of time, but would like to contribute something back for what it's worth.
Angelo's Pizza on 57th - an old NYC standby for us, we have to get an Angelo's pie once per visit. American style pizza (as opposed to Napoli style extra thin crust, special oven, etc...). The sauce is amazing. I wouldn't recommend going way out of your way to get here, because I know CH tends to favor other joints in Manhattan, but you won't go wrong if you're in the area and want a bite.
Pastis (Meatpacking District) - French bistro, always crowded but good atmosphere. I didn't care for the French Onion soup (too bland, like you might find at Applebee's) but other than that the food was very good (if not spectacular, it's a bistro after all). I'd recommend it for visitors to NYC (good late night option as well)
Locande Verde (Greenwich St.) - one of the best meals I've ever had, lives up to the CH hype 100%. Everything from appetizers through desserts was spectacular. Portions are small, so order several items if you're hungry (like 1 appetizer each, share 2 pastas, and one main each). Reservations seem to be hard to get.
Dos Caminos - (3rd Ave) - ok this was not a CH inspired choice, our plans changed (got scammed by fake Broadway tickets! don't buy from Craigslist!) and we were in need of some strong margaritas near our hotel. This is a fun place, very lively, really loud music, food was mediocre and drinks were the same.
Norma's (at the Parker Meridien) - for brunch, great service, omellette was just ok but Brioche French Toast was great. Smoothie was also fantastic. I'd go back, but would probably prefer Sarrabeth's for comparable price point, same area).
Maialino's (Lexington and 21st) - CH inspired choice that we also enjoyed last year. Spectacular food, drink, and service. If you're visting NYC you'll not be disappointed. Very tough reservation to get it seems like, the hotel bar next door is a good place to hang out if you're waiting for a table.
Southgate - (Essex House hotel) - another example of straying from CH favored joints ending up in disappointment. Really nice space, but terrible service and a breakfast buffet selection that reminded me of the Hilton garden Inn. We were in a hurry, and decided against ordering off the menu (it took us 10 minutes to even get a menu). Go to Sarrabeth's instead, or Norma's, or head to Soho or Greenwich Village to one of the CH breakfast all-stars down there.
Other good spots were Crumb's for cupcakes, Levain's for chocolate chip cookies, and call me crazy but I think Chevy's near 42nd and 8th is a great place to sit down and down margaritas and such. The Mexican Bulldog (upside down bottle of Corono lodged in a frozen maragarita) is worth getting. Not sure about the food, we just tend to drink and eat the nacho chips they give you.
Thanks again to everyone who posts on this board, I appreciate the guidance.
9 9th Ave, New York, NY 10014
117 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019
825 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10022
40 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019
167 W 74th St, New York, NY 10023
118 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019
154 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019
377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013
259 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036
2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010
1675 Broadway, New York, NY 10019