Originally Posted by Jobu
Wow, first time to NYC. That's a hard one, as there are so many great things to do. I agree that getting up high for a panoramic view is key. My choice: the GE building at Rockefeller Center. From there you get to see the Empire State builiding, which you don't if you go to the Empire State! Have a drink at the bar attached to the Rainbow room if you like or just have drinks there. Go at night (if they're open) for more drama.
Food would be my next focus. NY is a great food town, just skip indian, it will disappoint someone from the UK. NY reputedly has great BBQ, but I can't verify. I hear Blue Smoke is great. Asian Fusion is hot now, Buddakan (10th Av/16th St i think) is dramatically decorated, and the food's pretty good. Go across the street to Morimoto for the real deal though. For a great steakhouse in Manhattan, my vote is Keen's, on 36th off 6th Ave. Cant beat it for atmosphere - pipe collection including those owned by teddy roosevelt, buffalo bill... original program from the night Lincoln got shot upstairs. On old NY classic. Great steaks too, and a fine wine list.
Lastly, try the Staten Island Ferry. Sounds cheesy to many, it's really magical at sunset.
+1 on all these recommendations. I have been to all of those restaurants and they are great. Some other options might be Blue Ribbon Sushi (late night), the Spotted Pig (mario batali owns this low key bar that serves awesome food), wolfgangs steakhouse (close to your hotel). None of them require a reservation.
I would make sure to get to central park for a weekend exploration - get into see the museum while you're there. Hit Soho up for some shopping and then little italy for drinks and dinner. I like La Mela - no reservation and no menu. Great food!
While you're at the WTC site go check out the rest of the financial district and battery park. You can jump on the Staten Islan ferry for some siteseeing. Its a lot cheaper than the BS Circle Line tours and you get the same views. I DO NOT recommend going to the statue of liberty. It is VERY boring there. And, if you want to climb up into the statue you need to order tickets weeks in advance. BORING!
Have a good trip