My husband and I will be staying at the London NYC(west 54th) for 3 nights. Are there any non- commercial really good restaurants worth staying in this area for or do we need to go downtown? We are not looking for white glove fancy or over the top steakhouses- just great food in a good atmosphere. Price does not matter.
Non-commercial? You mean non-chain? Or non-profit / charity? ;)
What kinds of cuisines do you like? What is the most you are willing to spend including tax, tip, or drinks and wine? Keep in mind that tax is nearly 9% in NYC. What is a "good" atmosphere to you?
There are some gems nearby but they might be out of your price range or comfort zone, or not. Also a few nearby formal restaurants have a more casual room or bar area: the cafe at Aquavit, the Bar Room at the Modern, Maze at Gordon Ramsay (in your hotel).
And since you are willing to travel, that opens up many, many more possibilities. How far are you willing to travel (by subway, taxi, etc)?
When are you coming to NYC? Where are you from? Is this for a long weekend? The most popular restaurants book up a month in advance and Fri/Sat are the most popular nights to dine out.
Note that she said, "Price does not matter." I think Aquavit, The Modern's Bar Room, and Maze at the London are all excellent suggestions. (Obviously, can't get any closer than Maze.) An easy walk further west (or a very quick cab ride) will get them to Nougatine at Jean Georges and the salon at per se (walk-in). Also, dbBistro Moderne is a quick ten blocks south.
Taboon on 52nd and 10th Avenue is fantastic. Cafe Forant on 51st between 9th and 10th is a lovely brunch spot (Brunch served everyday. Sit on the sidewalk!).