Chowish Lunch Near Theater District
A few times a year, a bunch of us Philly hounds come to NYC for a matinee. We generally arrive just after 11, which gives us plenty of time for a good lunch. For years, we've gone to Costa del Sol on 9th Ave at 50th, but I think it's lost something lately. Once, we tried a Vietnamese place up the street from there on 9th, and it was good (not great), but I don't remember the name, and once we tried a Korean place that was down a few steps (across from an overly-expensive but probably very good Spanish restaurant, in the mid-40s near 9th). A few times we've taken the subway to Chinatown for dim sum (to a small place recommended on this board some years ago -- down a dead-end street on the left). So now I'm looking for new ideas -- no big Italian lunches, no fancy high-end French -- you get the idea, right?
Wondee Siam is very good Thai (for Manhattan), on 9th Avenue in the low 50's. There's also a relatively new place on 9th at 50th called Roberto Passon. The food is quite good and they have a prix-fixe 3-course lunch for $15. It is Italian, but I don't think of it as a "big Italian lunch" somehow. There are a number of choices on the menu, and it's a comfortable place to sit and talk.
Uncle Nick's, on 9th Av., b/t 50th & 51st Sts., serves well-prepared, tasty Greek food in a pleasant taverna-style setting. They open for lunch at noon.
Wu Liang Ye, on 48th St., b/t 5th & 6th Avs., has very good Szechuan cuisine. You'd have to check to see what time they start serving.
Tintol, on 46th St., b/t 5th & 6th Avs., is a new tapas spot. I've not been, but there have been positive reports. I think they open at noon.
"Little Korea" is not far from the Theater District. Korean barbecue is always great for a group. Kang Suh, on the corner of B'way & 32nd St. (entrance on 32nd) does a very good one. A regular menu is available as well. They're open 24/7.
Note: For restaurants that don't have websites, you can view menus on menupages.com.
Eventhough you said no Big Italian Lunches, I would still reccomend ViceVersa 325 w.51st (8th & 9th).The food is lighter and they have the nicest garden.
Kashkaval is a nice little option. It's part-Mediterranean deli/takeout, part-fondue restaurant.
It's been a while but I remember having a really nice meal at Old San Juan restaurant on 9th - I had the shrimp asopao.