Blue Ribbon Federal Grill
84 William St.
(at Maiden Lane)
American (New)
More fancy than casual

Blue Ribbon has grown mightily from its Soho roots—with myriad restaurants, bars, even bowling alleys—and Blue Ribbon Federal Grill, in the AKA Wall Street hotel, is its fanciest establishment so far. In Blue Ribbon style, the decor is clean and simple; the industrial-style columns and fanciful light fixtures keep the room from being generic. The emphasis is mainly on the picture windows facing Louise Nevelson Plaza—such openness is rare in this neighborhood, and the light at lunch is splendid—and because the restaurant is a half-dozen steps above street level, you feel pleasantly removed from the hubbub below. The 12-seat bar looks good for dining, either alone (important for the extended-stay guests upstairs) or with a companion. The lunch and dinner menus have significant overlap, and at the low end, the restaurant is accessible, but prices escalate.