12 E. 31st St., Murray Hill
Though it's located in the busy, midtown Hotel Chandler (you'll walk past people rolling their suitcases to check out on your way to the bathroom), the dining room is spacious and, like the menu, elegant. Chef Hergatt manages to create beautifully presented and originally prepared dishes that still feel earthy and very much connected to the ingredient: The salmon is cured with beets, creating a beautiful color on the outside that gently fades in the middle, while parsnips are steeped in coffee and served with espresso ice cream. It's not surprising that he's earned a Michelin star.
42 E. 20th St., Gramercy
For over 20 years, this venerable Danny Meyer restaurant has been continually packed, thanks to the delicious, seasonal, and local American cuisine, a movement that’s currently stewarded by chef Michael Anthony, of Blue Hill fame. The woodsy dining room, complete with Robert Kushner’s vegetable mural, is so comforting. Their private room is a great classic spot for a private event.
The Inn at Irving Place
56 Irving Pl., Gramercy
This quaint spots looks like just another family brownstone on a lovely street. As the kind of place you could easily move into, it's no surprise that this 12-room hotel does have residences available for longer stays. You’ll sleep in Frette linens and take strolls around Gramercy Park. The Inn has the sweetest tea room in town, too, called Lady Mendl’s.
The Gramercy Park Hotel (Closed)
2 Lexington Ave., Gramercy
Not only is this opulent and over-the-top hotel decked out with pieces from Basquiat, Warhol, and Botero, but it’s also adjacent to the magical Gramercy Park, which is only accessible—via key—to residents of the neighborhood (and, as luck would have it, guests of the hotel). The Baroque vibe is theatrical and fun, and there’s an on-site Italian restaurant (and bakery) from Danny Meyer that makes room service a treat.