New York minutes/Latish December 2007

The good: Lunetta, where I stopped for lunch to break my post-Greenmarket addiction to Rosa Mexicano’s queso fundido and where it was hard to find fault with anything even though I sat in exactly the same spot I ate the two times I braved the funky Mayrose that preceded it. The host was a host, the waitress was efficient and beyond personable (she spilled the salt on clearing the table and threw some over her shoulder for both of us) and my panini was a good value. Fontina, lots of prosciutto and a little arugula were melted together in a good roll, and a big mound of wild arugula and a little ramekin of garlicky sauce came on the side. A $9 glass of tocai helped drown out the woman at the next table nattering on to her tablemate about family scandals (I left when she started in on the relative involved with a married guy who has drawn her into three-way sex; the tablemate looked on in envy as I gathered my bags and coat and fled). The bread and olive oil were quite good, though, and the space has been transformed to make the most of the tall windows and good light with a trace of Balthazar charm. WIGB? Absolutely. Who needs “Sex and the City?” 920 Broadway at 20th Street, 212 53 3663.

The not awful: Charm, where my consort and I retreated for a fast lunch when neither of us could deal that goddamn Mother Hubbard we have unleashed. A two-course $8 lunch special is hard to complain about, but I suspected the dishwasher was cooking that day. The vegetable springrolls were clumsily rolled and scantily filled; the beef in my curry could have come from the shoemaker a block away. Bob was happier with his seafood ravioli soup and pad Thai, especially after he realized a squeeze of the lemon wedge served with the latter livened it right up. WIGB? Unfortunately. How many burritos can one couple eat? 722 Amsterdam Avenue near 95th Street, 212 866 9800.