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Dinner in or near Chelsea: need good food, but quiet dining room

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I need two (possibly three) venues for dinners (parties of six) in or near Chelsea, where we can have great food but where my parents (in their 80s) can hear over the din of the dining room. We've done Union Square Cafe, Eleven Madison Park, and Gramercy Tavern in the past, but (1) it's probably too late to get prime time reservations at those places for mid-October, and (2) I wouldn't mind finding places more moderately priced.

Thoughts? I was thinking Klee Brasserie and Omai as two possibilities. Reactions? What places would folks recommend that are more upscale than Klee and Omai, but not at the price point of USC/EMP/GT?

Edited to add: I just noticed that on one of the nights, we have to end up near the intersection of Varrick and Vandam Streets, so a West Village/Soho option would be good, too!

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  1. have you been to Gotham Bar & Grill? excellent food, superb service, and the dining room doesn't get too noisy. certainly still high-end, but maybe a bit less pricey than USC/EMP/GT.

    other places to consider that i *believe* aren't too noisy (though i haven't been so you might want to ask around):
    Aldea
    Tocqueville
    Giorgio's of Gramercy

    6 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Funny, when I wrote Gramercy Tavern, I meant Gotham! I'd love to go if I can get a reservation.

      Thanks for the other recs. I actually had thought that Giorgio's might be a nice option for one of the dinners.

      1. re: Blumie

        I would choose Tocqueville or Aldea over Giorgio's it in a NY minute! Giogio's food is fine, but the food at the other two is far superior. Aldea can be a tad noisy, but Tocqueville's ambiance is serene. Plus, it has one of the most elegantly beautiful dining rooms in the city.

        You can see photos taken during the superb lunch we had at Tocqueville this past Saturday here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

        1. re: RGR

          RGR, amazing photos! Thanks for sharing. Based on your recommendation and photos, I definitely want to try Tocqueville.

          1. re: Gigi007

            Thanks for the compliment, Gigi007. :) Tocqueville has been a long-time favorite of ours, so I find it strange that it tends to travel under the culinary radar. While we have dinner there occasionally, we most often go for lunch and usually have the $24.07 prix fixe. A total steal as they are always sensational!

            1. re: RGR

              You're right about Tocqueville flying under the radar. I've heard it mentioned from time to time, but there's never been any great buzz about it. The $24.07 lunch prix fixe is a total steal. Must try soon. Thanks again! You have great taste and are definitely up on the NYC dining scene. :)

              1. re: Gigi007

                You're very sweet to say that, Gigi. But this board is fortunate to have many very knowledgeable participants who know the restaurant scene even better than I do and provide excellent information and recommendations.

    2. Wallse is pretty quiet. Also, halfsteak, the front room at Craftsteak, is usually very sedate. I like O Mai a lot, but it's very casual and a little more cramped than the other places mentioned.