Thanks for the recommendation on Landmarc TWC (the question was "please help me find a place to eat at 11 PM within walking distance of 59/7"). It was just what I wanted after being jiggled and bounced and jostled all the way from Las Vegas... to sit down and have a simple dinner.
I'll give Landmarc their propers -- the space is really well-done, with lots of tables yet you don't rub elbows. It's a shockingly huge space (in my head all i could think of was "the rent, my God the RENT!") but it's well-done and the acoustics are fantastic.
The food -- well, I had a chopped salad (after vacillating for a while on whether I really could bear Yet Another "Balsamic" Vinaigrette made in Modena, Wisconsin instead of Modena, Italy), and the Sunday night pasta special, cacio e pepe. I had a half-bottle of Sancerre which was light and fruity and quenched my thirst and hit the spot even though I don't usually like demi-sec wine.
The salad, which had hearts of palm, celery, tomatoes, beets and hearts of palm (that might not be a complete list -- I am exhausted after a weekend in Vegas and a long flight) was excellent -- well-dressed.
The cacio e pepe was quite good -- a little oily on the bottom and a little bit dry on the top, but I didn't care, I was famished. The bread is excellent but they put something in the butter (again, sorry, palate dulled by "Todd English food" on Delta) that didn't quite taste right, so I used the olive oil on the table instead.
They're not going to win any awards for food -- it wasn't revelatory or anything like that -- but they do definitely win for serving dinner until 2 AM, 7 nights a week. Given the reasonably limited (I think) options in the area at this hour, this was about as good as it could have been -- I walked away happy, and it didn't bust the bank ($35 for food, $18 for the wine plus tip).
And, I happened to pass the Bouchon bakery -- which I think might be my stop for breakfast, unless someone talks me out of it in the next eigh...uh...seven and a half hours.
I couldn't disagree more about this place. My wife and I gave it a few tries because we liked the downtown location but now live on the UWS. It's just plain bad. The service is uncaring and frankly unfriendly, all the while being slow. We sat at the bar this past weekend for brunch and the bartender was rude. The food is fine, but it's not worth the service issues to eat Houston's caliber food.
We had a drink there in the afternoon, just before grabbing a cab to go to LaGuardia, and thought it was a nice place with a wine list one the affordable side, which is surprising for a place in the Time Warner center. I had a split of champagne for 14$. In Montreal, you pay 16$ for a split of champagne...but at the liquor store! I can't say it is my kind of place but I was pleasantly surprised with the affordable wine list.
bouchon is great for b'fast, das ubergeek. i wish i'd seen your earlier post. it's nice to see you on this board!!
i agree with your assessment of landmarc (except for the acoustics... you must've sat in the area near the bar. they're fine, there, but awful in the bigger dining space!). it will never win any awards for the food, but it's a pleasant space and good enough for me to keep dropping in when i need a decent late-night meal / place to take a large group / place to take picky eaters without getting bored to tears, myself / place that's child-friendly. it's a nice, neighborhoody feeling restaurant in a not-very-neighborhoody part of town.