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Excellent food AND civilized conversation?

Are there any restaurants in Manhattan of any cuisine where you can get a delicious and affordable meal ($150. for two) and also be able to converse with your dining companion without screaming yourselves hoarse? This is an especial wish for our anniversary dinner... Thanks so much for any and all advice!

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  1. Does that amount include alcohol, tax & tip? Any particular cuisine preferences?

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth

      eppie curious, any neighborhood okay or do you have a preference?

    2. Compass would be a great choice. Very comfortable and not overly noisy. Ask for a booth. The food is fabulous and it fits your budget.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rrems

        Compass is the way to go. Very civilized, you actually have space and it's not loud. Great food and service, too.

        1. re: Spiritchaser

          My favorite place by far is Vice Versa.

        2. We'd like it best if the total bill was around $150. We were thinking of old-fashioned classics, like shrimp cocktail and steak, but will consider anything seriously yummy. We will be staying on the UWS, but could anywhere in Manhattan would be ok.

          I am curious, (as the monicker states) - What kind of food and where are Compass and Telepan?


          2 Replies
          1. re: eppie curious

            Telepan is UWS. I would describe the cuisine as New American. Bill Telepan is a big supporter of locally sourced and sustainable foods. Wonderfully fresh stuff.

            1. re: eppie curious

              Compass is on West 70 St.just west of Amsterdam. The food is new American, with mostly creative dishes and also some more basic classics like steak.

            2. On the other side of your request, the civility of the conversation is up to you. What were you thinking of talking about?

              6 Replies
              1. re: guide boy

                Interesting that you should ask, but we figure civility is a matter of style rather than content. We just don't want to shout all night. And, I'm pretty deaf in one ear, and hearing aids just can't handle loud restaurants.

                1. re: eppie curious

                  How about Keens-it isn't very loud and I do believe that you caould walk out for $150.

                    1. re: Spiritchaser

                      I agree that Keens is a great option and will fit well with your classic steak and shrimp cocktail request. On the other hand, if you want to try something more interesting, I will recommend Degustation. It serves tapas which are great to be shared among 2 people, and the place is small and cozy. You can also watch the chefs cooking right in front of you in the open kitchen. I have never had the experience of feeling too noisy at Degustation. If you do a search on this board you will find plenty of reviews.

                      1. re: kobetobiko

                        IMO (and we all know what they say about that) Degustation is not a good choice for what I THINK the OP is looking for. It seems they are looking for a more "traditional" version of dining out for a special occasion.

                        1. re: Spiritchaser

                          Now knowing you are interested in the UWS, Compass seems to fit your needs.