Recommendation for restaurants in midtown
Oops! Sorry! Manhattan
That's where all the heavy hitters are: per se, Le Bernardin, Gramercy, Jean-Georges, Daniel, Sushi Yasuda.....so if you're looking for a memorable, unbudgeted experience...I highly recommend Sushi Yasuda.
These restaurants are too fancy. Im looking for something more casual but still delicious.
The Tavern Room at GramTav is not fancy at all, and considerably more affordable than the dining room.
Midtown NYC will be pricier and less casual options than most neighborhoods. It's either a nice restaurant or quick takeout lunch. Avra for excellent Greek, The Modern for snacks and cocktails, there are two Serafinas for casual pizza and pasta, Bilboquet is pricey but such a fun scene and the best roasted chicken, Monkey Bar for Classic NYC, Dishes is a great quick, casual lunch, Le Relais de Venise for Steak Frites, Lavo is pretty good Italian - big menu and buzzy. The Four Seasons Restaurant's days are numbered - they have a good prix fixe menu for lunch at the bar and the best martinis in town! These are all more Midtown East - Midtown West/Hell's Kitchen will have more casual options.
Artisinal is delicious.
Still flying under the radar is Triomphe in the Iroquois Hotel on 44th Street between 6th and 5th. Chef Florian Wehrli has brought new luster to what used to be a stodgy hotel dining room. And he has a lovely roof garden with bees to provide a bit of truly local ingredients to his menu. [Disclaimer: he is a good friend and colleague with whom I have cooked many times.] The bar is also being noted for its creative and delicious cocktails. I highly recommend it. Prices are not crazy, either.