Thanks for all the comments and suggestions in response to my round 1 post. New Yorkers are opinionated about dining! Thanks in particular to Marc for a list of more casual options near my hotel. I'm really enjoying the density and diversity of restaurants in Manhattan. Haven't done much very fancy in the past few days, but we've got a list of ridiculous plans next week: Craft (again), 11 Madison, Del Posto, Daniel, Blue Hill Farm, Bouley, Mas Farmhouse, Le Bernardin. It's too much, honestly, may need to pare that back.
Shake Shack (Flatiron). World famous burgers for a reason. They are very delicious thanks mostly to the large amounts of fat and salt in the burger. Eat them quick; I imagine in 10 minutes they're disgusting. But on a nice day in Madison Park they're awesome.
Sushi Yasuda (Midtown). Very widely recommended. It was good, but nothing particularly exciting or unusual. Much like the nigiri you can get anywhere, just very high quality. I'm told sometimes you get unusual things like toro from 4 different parts of the world. We got some great toro but it was unidentified. Yasuda has moved back to Japan, I wonder if the current staff is simplifying?
Pegu Club (SoHo). A nice bar with serious cocktails. Great drink list, nice room, silly uncomfortable furniture. I'll go again but sit at the bar.
Emporio (Nolita). Italian picked at the last minute because Torrisi was awkward. Nice place, comfortable and quiet at lunch. The pasta was tasty but a bit overcooked.
Bar Pitti (Village). Another casual Italian, but very hectic. We had two courses and a bottle of wine and were out the door in 45 minutes, with crazy brusque service. But the boar pasta was just fantastic and it's a good place, if I lived here it'd be one of my neighborhood joints.
Egg (Williamsburg). Lovely American breakfast / lunch place. Really excellent pork sausage, good duck hash, tasty comfort food prepared well. Sticking with the Williamsburg theme, the hipster service was comically incompetent but charming and friendly.
Spitzer's (Lower East Side). Nice little corner bar with wide open windows on a good weather day. Plenty of beers on tap, also a good grilled cheese sandwich. The fries looked good. NY doesn't have nearly as many pub-type places as we have on the west coast, this one was nice.