out of the loop
I am coming to the city with my husband for 3 nights in 2 weeks. We moved out of the city 10 years ago and are totally out of the loop about what restaurants are good anymore. I know the choices are endless. We are not looking for Grammercy Tavern experience- been there and done that 100 times.
We would just like great food (anything except Indian) in cool atmosphere. We will be staying at The Bowery so downtown is preferred but we would travel anywhere.
Adding to RGR's recommendations: Harbour is a wonderful new place with creative seafood, Locanda Verde is Robert DeNiro's new place in tribeca with chef Andrew Carmellini, 10 Downing is a relatively new spot with really interesting dishes, Tailor has an unusual style somewhat like WD-50 but less expensive and not quite as "molecular", Scarpetta is great for upscale modern Italian. All of these are trendy as well as delicious. I could go on, but you only have 3 nights so I will leave it at that. Enjoy your trip and please report back on your dining experiences.
Daniel Boulud's new DBGB, on the Bowery, immediately comes to mind -- though I haven't been there yet, so I don't know how "cool" the atmosphere might be. Needless to say, most of the reports about the food have been positive.
Aldea, on 17th St., b/t Park Av. S. & B'way, has been open for two months. Chef/Owner Georges Mendes's Portuguese-inspired cuisine is superb. There's an interesting wine list, service is friendly and attentive, and the beautifully designed space has "cool" contemporary decor. Prices are ridiculously moderate for food of such high caliber.
Allegretti, on 22nd St., b/t 5th & 6th Avs., has been open for a year. Chef/Owner Alain Allegretti is serving exceptional Provencal-style French cuisine. There's a very good wine list, service is pleasant and efficient, and the lovely space has a mixture of traditional and modern design.
Enjoy you stay in NYC and Bon Appetit!