I'm afraid I can't be much help. In all these years, I've never eaten at Au Mandarin, since it's no harder for me to go to Chinatown. Nor have I eaten at The Grill Room; it never seemed interesting enough to warrant the expense. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I can recommend any place there. The only positive I have is: wait for the Greenmarket to open again. At least you'll be able to do some of your shopping.
If oakapple's memory is the measure of success, then I guess there's "no history of success."
IIRC there was a pretty successful (and good) restaurant in 3 (I think) World Financial Center before 9/11. Something Grill?
It makes sense, but then again, there is no history of success in the area.
And since that side of West Street is pretty much a wasteland, I'm sure all the ventures will do just fine -- especially with the tourists and businesspeople who stay at the Embassy Suites or whatever the hotel is there.
However, there were several high or high-ish end restaurants around the Winter Garden or nearby: Hudson River Club (Waldy Malouf), which I still miss; The Grill Room (Larry Forgione iirc; it's still there although he's not, of course); Au Mandarin (still there); Manhattan Prime (definitely Larry Forgione, in the Embassy Suites; long gone); Coco Marina, previously Sfuzzi (Pino Luongo, closed after 9/11); Johnney's Fish Grill, which only went out of business a couple of years ago; SouthWest NY (still there), which actually had a pretty well-known French chef when it opened (he didn't last long, though). Too bad I just tossed my collection of NY Times reviews, or I would be able to tell you when they were, in fact, acknowledged by the wider world.
As someone who just started working in WFC, any suggestions for which places that are still open are tasty enough to bother with? Is there anything worth eating at Au Mandarin? When I used to work in midtown I would order from Shun Lee sometimes so I certainly have an appreciation for Chinese food that I would otherwise never ever eat.
Sneak could probably give you some advice, although he too might say: don't eat there.