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Feb 7, 2000 10:04 AM

Does good food have to be noisy?

  • d

Putanesca on 9th and 56th is one of my favorite
restaurants. The food is fabulous, but I don't go
there any more. It was always noisy, but since they
have expanded, it has become unbearably noisy.

I know that there a things that can be done to the
acoustics to soften the noise. The could put in different tiles or some carpeting or something. However, they haven't done anything of the sort.
(At least they hadn't as of six months ago when I
refused to go any more.)

Maybe I'm missing something. Does a lot of noise give a place the urgency and sense that this is the place to be that keep clientele coming back? Does a lot of noise
mean you've got a happening restaurant?

Since my boycott, I've discovered Julian's down the street. It's about 20% less noisy and about 15% less
expensive and the food is just as good.
Peace, David Tillyer

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  1. I agree that Puttanesca can be very noisy. Always assumed it had to do with the very high ceilings. However, we tend to frequent it because it's walking distance from where one of my kids lives. Would love to try others, so could you give me some more info on this Julians, such as location, kind of food, fave dishes, prices, ambience, etc. I'm especially intrigued by "15% less expensive" since I've come to think of Puttanesca as a pretty good bargain. Thanks.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Larry

      Unless my mind is totally gone, I'm pretty sure this is the place we had a wonderful meal with another couple last week. Really nice decor, dark and candle-lit with lots of red and velvet fabric and squishy comfy chairs.

      Drinks came very quickly and were well-made. (Although a guy filled my husband's white wine glass with water - but then offered a free replacement glass.) There is this wonderful olive paste that they bring with the bread _ it's just addictive. I ordered gnocchi in a light red sauce, which were so light and fluffy that I ate the whole plate. My husband got a pasta with seafood (I'm a vegetarian, I can't remember what exactly was in it!) But everyone tasted it and said it was great. Our friends shared a Ceasar salad and the gnocchi, too. THey eat there a lot. Desert was a really amazing chocolate creme caramel (not too sweet, actually.) and also a pumpkin cake with cinnamon ice cream. (perfect.)

      We've also just had appetizers at the bar _ had a cheese plate and cocktails. Service was too slow that night. We asked if it would be quick to just get the cheese plate, she said "yes," but "quick" was 45 minutes.

      I can't remember the bill, but it was very reasonable. I think the gnocchi was like $8 or $9.

      1. re: Larry
        david Tillyer

        Larry asks about Julian's. It is at 53rd & 9th next
        to Mangia y Bevi on the NE corner.

        It's really nice. They bring caponata and wonderful
        bread to the table while you wait for things. The food is marvelous. Try any of the pastas and they don't
        screw up fish. Salads are nice and the desserts are

        Last time we were there, however, they had a new
        menu that was printed in a font that was absolutely
        too small to read. We complained and Julian went and
        turned up the lights! They are really great
        neighborhood folks.

        If I had a little more money to eat out more often,
        I would eat there once a week.

        As it is, I still cook better than most restaurants
        I visit. Unfortunately, I'm not tooting my own
        horn too much! I've had too many disappointments.
        Peace, David Tillyer