Seems that tasting restuarants are all the rage in New York now. When I was there two weeks ago, I ended up going to two very different places, one was fairly middle brow on the upper East Side, close to the apartment that I use when Im there and the other was down near Gramercy Park in a very chi-chi part of town. The tables were about three inches apart in this place, and at the end of our meal there (I was taken there by a client) we were asked to vacate our table for the waiting customers at the door! I've never seen anything like it.
The first place I went to with Greg near the apartment was called Fig and Olive on Lexington and 64th. It is a small place, serving wine only, with the cool added attraction of a long communal eating bar in the center of the restaurant. When we sat down, our server brought us four different olive oils and bread, with a side of figs. The menu offered two ways of ordering. One could either get a variety of tasting appetizers such as cheese, vegetable, or meat plates or toasted crostini with a variety of toppings to spoon on. OR one could order more filling meals to share that were more like lunch portions. We decided to just order the whole first menu minus the meat tray. Crostini toppings included roasted red pepper, a confit of different colored tomatos, an eggplant caviar, and other things I can't remember. Cheeses were mostly hard and sharp but with a gorgonzolla and a goat cheese added in, the vegetables were mostly hip, New York style things like roasted leeks, chard, etc.
I know we got out of there pretty full for under $60.00, which is very good for two people in New York City.
I'll talk more about the other place when I can remember what the name of it was.