places for nice nibbles, not full meal
For tapas, I like Tia Pol and Casa Mono. El Quinto Pino, Tia Pol's sister restaurant to which I haven't been, is even more snack oriented than Tia Pol and may be another option.
I just went to Gottino this week and found some plates nice, some OK. I think if you order right you could have a good meal.
casa mono has lovely food and wine, but it is
do you have any price restrictions? if not, grayz and stanton social are both good, but pricey. excellent cocktails at both places.
you can also find decent nibbles, fantastic desserts, and a very nice drink selection (mostly wines, liqueurs, and spiked coffee drinks topped with whipped cream) at la lanterna di vittorio (moderate).
also look into decibel (no awards for food, but it's a fun, divey place to hang) and sakagura (great sake selection).
finally: barfry. i haven't been, but i hear good things.
the chowhound links:
99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002
211 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017
50 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014
129 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012
240 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003
13 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019