Wow, Y&H really touched a nerve yesterday with his bitch about noise at local restaurants. Either we’re a town of old farts, or interior designers and owners have seriously overestimated how much “buzz” diners want in their restaurants.
Here’s a sampling of the commentary that has hit my inbox in the past 24 hours.
From Brooke, a 27-year-old female:
took my visiting dad and brother to marvin on a saturday night – a mistake which will not be repeated. conversation was almost futile… thank god my dad loved the ribs.
as an interior designer, it frustrates me to see otherwise well-designed spaces (marvin, zaytinya, among others) furnished without concern for acoustics. marvin had nothing but hard surfaces downstairs – the only upholstery was leather (and minimal at that), which does nothing for sound absorption. don’t get me wrong – i love the decor. i just wish the noise level had been a bigger consideration in the design.
it’s not just old people! as you said, conversation is supposed to be part of a great dining experience.
From Peter, a 62-year-old male:
We met friends for dinner at Faccia Luna, not realizing that the acoustics were so bad that we started using hand signals and just nodding when unable to hear what was being said.
Though I am 62, our friends were younger (including our young-adult kids), who equally complained about the noise.
From Elizabeth, a 27-year-old female:
Yes, you’re absolutely right — Posto is oh-so noisy! I’m 27 and enjoy a good restaurant buzz, but both times I’ve been there it’s been a dinner of shouting at my dining companions. Forget about it if there’s more than 2 in your party. One more thing we all noticed — the place was, at best, half full. I will say, though, last time I was there… my bare knees grazed the underside of the table and I reeled with disgust — what was this squishy substance I’d encountered?!? I looked and discovered that they’d affixed egg crate foam to the undersides of the tables! Presumably an effort to dull some of the noise, but… I’m not sure which was worse: the noise or the revolting foam squish against my knees? At least the pizza is tasty enough to make it worthwhile.
You got a noisy-restaurant story to share? E-mail me at email@example.com. Give me your age, too. I’ll keep posting the best responses on the Y&H blog.
Photo courtesy of Zaytinya