I was just going to post the same question for downtown [east or west] since I just had a nice brunch today at Agave on 7th Ave South and am always looking for new places that allow dogs. This was spur of the moment and I was with my small well behaved 'baby'. We asked the host if we could eat outside [they have a nice outdoor space]; she asked us to wait a minute while she called someone [assume her boss] to check.. not only was the brunch good but the staff was very pleasant [brought out water for my pup].
Also Phillip Marie on Hudson is great for dogs and food :)
My rule of thumb is to always ask... many are dog friendly but you don't know until you try. Enjoy NYC !
The New York Times just ran an article on this subject in the travel section. I think this is the link http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/22/tra... . There are lots of places on the uws that are dog-friendly as well (Fred's, High Life, pretty much any place with outside seating).
Oh, and one minor point about the park ... the official off-leash hours are *before* 9 am and *after* 9 pm. while people often disregard this, be aware that you can be ticketed after 9 am for having your dog off-leash.
There was an earlier discussion on this you might find helpful...
I live a little further north than that and we frequent the following places with our beagle:
Zucchero and Pomodori
There are tons of places in the 70s on second avenue that allow small dogs. Just walk up and ask any of the outdoor seating places and more than likely you will be allowed. Most even have drinking bowls for your pooch as well. Also, in Central Park doggies are allowed off leash in the morning and there is always a large congregation of people with their dogs getting coffee and breakfast in the Park at the SheepMeadow cafe around 9AM, especially on the weekends. Enjoy your trip in this very dog friendly city!