First time NYC- staying on 56th between 5th and 6th.
You're staying on the same block as one of my favorite restaurants--Ma Peche located downstairs in The Chambers Hotel. Great for lunch and dinner and it's mid-priced. Don't miss Momofuku Milk Bar (main floor of the Chambers Hotel) for some of my favorite desserts and breads: compost cookie; corn cookie, blueberry cookie; turkey, swiss cheese and honey mustard bread (really an adorable little loaf).
there are a few notable places around there. how about aquavil, the modern (and the modern bar room), bar americain, between the bread, the soup man (aka the soup nazi), to name a few.
65 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022
9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019
152 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019
Between the Bread
145 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019
Hi Windsor! I pulled up some previous discussions that should help.
If you have specific requests for recommendations, like cuisines you're craving or restaurants near other activities you might be doing (sightseeing, Broadway plays, the opera, shopping, etc.) don't hestitate to ask or use the "search" function of this site!
In terms of great New York experiences and food, check out these discussions:
Best breakfast and brunch:
Please help me eat during a month in new york
Don't leave NY without eating these foods
Pizza in NYC
BTW, I highly recommend RGR's self guided Lower East Side Gustatory tour but sub in Pickle Guys for Guss' Pickles:
totally obscure, odd, and intriguing menu items
Great upscale dining
For upscale restaurants like Jean Georges, Per Se, Daniel, Eleven Madison Park, The Modern, etc. I find that there are often multiple threads dedicated to each. So don't be afraid to search on the restaurant's name to find out more.
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019
49 Essex St, New York, NY 10002
Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010
1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023