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Sep 14, 2000 11:29 AM

just what is too loud??

  • m

in reference to the weird occurrence atBOULEY posts, does a restaurant party-patronhave a right to complain about a loud table??And is such a complaint always rude ornervy?? Are we dealing with a sports stadiumanalogy: anything goes noise wise and thereis no such thing as too boisterous because arestaurant is a place to have fun?? Should onealways leave it up to the manager/owner/host/maitre'd as to whether a quiet down is in order??Should that complaining party at Bouley haverequested a move to another section?? Shouldhe have been comped dessert?? Or is grin andbear it the only answer??

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  1. too loud depends on how many bottles of mouton they have already consumed, and how many more they plan on consuming. In my opinion, you could alway ask the offending party to please be respectful of your ears, or perhaps just complain to the restaurant staff. If the staff refuses to do something, you could always resort to slander (?)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Mr. W.
      mark grossman

      replying to my own post, I think in the Bouleysituation, the celebrating party was 65% in theright but not 100%. It's a tricky call to makebut if an adjoining table is moved to complain,the management should move them, comp themor ask the other table to pipe down.

      1. re: mark grossman

        I'm afraid I have to agree with Mark. Something doesn't add up in this situation - especially the boasting of the Bouley party that (to paraphrase)"we got loud and happy again a few minutes later." Perhaps the "stuffy" neighbor really felt that the noise was prohibitively loud - and maybe it was... I have felt that way in restaurants about fellow diners and I am pretty casual about these things. My earlier post supposing that perhaps the comp was a result of the party quieting down was met with the response thanking me for the assumption but assuring me that they didn't become more quiet. Well - a legit question is why not. Can a party enjoy their dinner, have a blast, and not disturb others at the same time?

    2. What is too loud? Interesting story. My husband is a restauranteur. When we opened the first restaurant 5 years ago, Ruth Reichl just happened to walk by and noted in her Diner's Journal that she was attracted to the place on a cold winter night because of the peals of laughter (mine, I am sure) and the lively conversation emerging from the restaurant. However, one of the evenings when she was there in preparation for her review, there was a table of 10 next to her celebrating an event and very boisterous. My husband cringed, but did not say anything to the guests. (We feel that it is not up to the restaurant to ask a party to quiet down unless specifically asked by another guest and we feel it is appropriate.) Sure enough, when her ** review came out, she loved everything, but said the place was noisy!! And it really isn't. So it was cheery enough to attract her but.....

      6 Replies
      1. re: maureen

        off on a tangent, but may I ask how you or your husband knew she was there?

        1. re: jen kalb

          We had a feeling through her voice. Then at the end of the meal, she used a credit card with one of the names that the restauranteurs recognize. It was her last visit before the review, which came out the following week, so she was a little more visible than usual.

          1. re: maureen

            Too loud is when I can't hear the conversation at my table or what the waiter is saying. Some restaurants encourage noise by having reflective surfaces and playing music. I never go back to such restaurants.

            1. re: Ron

              some restaurants "reward" customers with perks. Blue Ribbon on Sullivan St. is one of those places. Although the velvet blinds cover the doors, the din from within is like that of a sporting event. The perks I mentioned above usually involve alchoholic beverages in mass quanities.

          2. re: jen kalb

            How naive?

            Most restaurateurs know when they are serving a critic.

            1. re: JMinNYC

              Probably more than a little naive. I'm no food industry pro. Both Maureen's answer and yours were interesting.