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Zaytinya: You practically get a metal concert with your mezze.

Y&H still remembers, more than  a year ago, when the dining critic at Brand X wrote a Sunday magazine cover story about noise in restaurants and even instituted a special feature measuring decibel levels at every restaurant he reviews. What a waste of time, I thought, writing about something that’s so subjective. One diner’s noise, after all, is another diner’s buzz and excitement. (OK, critiquing food is totally subjective, too, but go with me here.) Only old folks and babies, I figured, care about noise in restaurants.

Well, I’m officially a geezer now.

Two recent dinners have convinced me that noise levels in restaurants have entered Motörhead territory. The first was at Ristorante Posto, where I sat across from my wife trying to read her lips over my platter of Margherita pizza. Then just last week, right before the Labor Day weekend, we snagged a two-top at the new Ray’s the Steaks in Arlington and proceeded to yell at each other as if we were trying to conduct a conversation at an Indy 500 pit stop.

I’m sorry, but part of the dining experience is the ability to communicate with the folks at your table, not watch them eat their dinner as if they were zoo animals. But maybe I’m being a crank about this, which is why I want your input, readers. Tell me about your noisy dining experiences and whether they turned you off or not. E-mail your tales to me at hungry@washingtoncitypaper.com. Give me your age, too. I’ll post the best responses on the Y&H blog.

Photo by Daquella Manera via Flickr Creative Commons