I'm giving my 21 year old daughter her first taste of New York next month. (I've been many times, albeit not so much with money in my wallet.)
We'll likely be in town from Saturday afternoon through Wednesday morning over Memorial Day weekend. We want to avoid touristy places, but both of us like to eat and drink well. (I also know some big name places do serve fine food.) We'll likely be staying somewhere below Grand Central Station, and both walk and do public transportation.
Dinners in the $100-150 range for two, including a total of 2-3 drinks. Lunches for less, and we're very willing to hit a great restaurant at lunch time and do "downscale" at dinner.
No Indian or Asian, other than sushi, and we're from Arizona and can't imagine good Mexican food east of Albuquerque. My daughter also doesn't love pasta.
Downscale advice also welcomed