Dante's is blessed with an extremely pleasing complex decor, nothing dingy about it whatsoever. I was instantly drawn to their hot food/salad bar - it didn't have a ridiculous overabundance of selections, but what it did serve looked and tasted exquisite. Choices leaned towards the mediterranean/near-eastern, distinguishing it from most hot food/salad bars I have encountered on lunch tour. At 12:45 it wasn't really crowded - puzzling, since it's such a cool place. Seats about 20. Highly recommended!
Day 28 Corner Gourmet 84 William St. Jan. 17, 2007
A unique layout - looking in thru the door it appears to be a hole-in-the-wall that sells sodas and coffee. All the action is to the left, up a couple of steps and around a corner. Decent sized deli, with a tossed salad station, pizza bar, sandwich bar, and hot food area. The $6.50 chicken cordon bleu was decent, but they forgot to give me plastic utensils. Nothing outstanding about the Corner Gourmet, but then again, nothing outstandingly wrong, either.
Day 27 Cordato's New York 94 Greenwich St Jan. 3, 2007
Dingy veggie burger, dingy ambiance. The sign out front says it's also a bar, but inside there was no trace of a bar. I asked while paying for my dingy veggie burger and found out that behind the dingy door at the back of the deli area with the funny black-and-white poster on it is a bar area that stays open until 4am! Fascinating. Would be worth a visit and at the very least a guaranteed full evening of dingitainment.
Day 26 Corbet & Conley 132 Greenwich St Jan. 2, 2007
Wood paneling on the outside; no-nonsense luncheonette vibe on the inside. No line whatsoever at 12:30 on the first Tuesday of 2007. I opted for the turkey and vegetables over rice, which ended up being lots of food (which turned out to be good!) for $6.46. Pleasantly surprised.