Last night Kish and I went to a new restaurant in the area. The food was quite good, but I’m not sure I ever want to go back.
The reason? Noise. Lots of noise. Ridiculous amounts of noise. Ringing, echoing peals of laughter from the people a few tables away. People standing next to our table talking loudly to each other. People everywhere talking louder and louder to try to make themselves heard, in an ever-escalating spiral of bedlam. So much noise that Kish and I had a hard time hearing each other. So much noise that the waitress apologized for how noisy it was.
I recognize that there are places where noise is just part of the experience. If you are going to a New York City deli to order a sandwich that is bigger than your head, you’re not expecting a quiet, church-like experience. Yelling waiters, clattering dishes, and exuberant chatter from people in a hurry are part of the deal. And there are many restaurants that want to create that loud, active, bustling feel as part of their marketing. They want people to think, as they walk in the door — wow, this place is jammed! This must be the place to be!
I don’t like places where the noise seems to be artificially enhanced. I like hustling New York City delis, but I wouldn’t want to go to one for a leisurely evening meal — which is what we hoped to have last night. The next time we’re trying to decide where to eat, I’m not sure we’re going to go back to that place of pandemonium.