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Nice Italian/Steakhouse/American without excessive noise level

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  • terim Nov 12, 2009 04:15 PM
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We are spending Christmas in NYC (from LA) and meeting up with old friends who live there. We want to pick a nice restaurant that isn't so loud that we can't hear ourselves talk. We are also all middle-aged and not into an overly trendy scene. I want to stick to Italian or a steakhouse or American type food to suit all tastes. No prix fixe. In years past we've had great evenings at Gramercy Tavern and Union Sq Cafe - both of which I'd still consider returning to and which I don't recall as being overly loud. I am looking at Scarpetta, Lupa, BLT Prime or Steak as well. Any comments regarding the noise level at these places? Any other suggestions for a really nice evening out with good food and service? Do you have any recs on these places I've named? Many thanks for helping us have a special eve out with people we enjoy seeing.

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Lupa
170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

Gramercy Tavern
42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

BLT Prime
111 East 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010

Scarpetta
355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

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  1. Scarpetta is amazing. BLT prime is much better than BLT steak. I would also highly reccomend Babbo if you can get in. I have had 2 great meals at Union Sq. Cafe last year as well. As far as a quieter steakhouse, I would pick either Primehouse in Union Sq. or Dylan Prime in Tribeca. Have fun!!!!

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    Babbo
    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

    Dylan Prime
    62 Laight Street, New York, NY 10013

    Scarpetta
    355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

    1. Lupa and Scarpetta are fine choices, but I would prefer Convivio. The pace is more leisurely and the food is superb. The noise level varies but would not be worse than either of the other two. If you go to Lupa, try to be seated in the back room, which is quieter and cozier than the front. If you decide on a steakhouse I recommend Keen's. It has a nice buzz but not loud. The mutton chop (actually not mutton but a huge cut of saddle of lamb on the bone), prime rib and porterhouse are all great and the sides, appetizers and desserts are more than decent. The service is efficient but not rushed.

      Aside from the ones you mentioned, I would add:

      Olana
      Cru
      Harbour

      All of these have comfortable seating and relaxed pacing so you can enjoy your visit.

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      Lupa
      170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

      Scarpetta
      355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

      Convivio
      45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

      4 Replies
      1. re: rrems

        I love Lupa but it's very loud.

        Scarpetta would be wonderful and I would agree with rrems that Keens would be above BLT Prime on my list for a great steakhouse.

        If price isn't an issue, I would certainly recommend Eleven Madison Park, especially since you have enjoyed other Danny Meyers restaurants in the past.

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        Lupa
        170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

        Eleven Madison Park
        11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

        BLT Prime
        111 East 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010

        Scarpetta
        355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

        1. re: stephaniec25

          I haven't found Lupa really loud, but it's definitely not soft in the front room. I've found the back room more sedate.

          1. re: stephaniec25

            Quoting the o.p.: " I want to stick to Italian or a steakhouse or American type food to suit all tastes. No prix fixe."

            EMP's cuisine is French inspired, and the dinner menu is prix-fixe.

          2. re: rrems

            I'll second Keen's its classy , quiet and the steak is good. The Palm downtown is kind of quiet for steak. Lupa isnt a middle age type place and not quiet, Try Ennio and Michael's or Da Silvano.For nice American and or steak Knickerbocker's would be a good choice. I'm not a big fan of Dylan Prime, I like wolfgang's but it gets noisy there. I think Gotham would be excellent choice or maybe EMP

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            Lupa
            170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

            Dylan Prime
            62 Laight Street, New York, NY 10013

            Ennio & Michael
            539 Laguardia Pl, New York, NY 10012

          3. Thank you Chowhounders for the input! This is really helpful and I'm going to further look into all suggested places!

            1. We decided to go to Keen's - thanks all. I had not focused on it until some of you mentioned it and it turned out to be ideal. The old NY setting was nice and a good change of pace and style from other places we ate at during our trip. Service fine and we could comfortably linger at the table and talk. Based on the recs, I ordered the mutton chop and it was a delicous winner! The prime rib was also excellent - generous portions indeed. Side of spinach fine, caeser salad so-so. Don't recommend the hash browns which are sort of gloppy. Others at the table had the porterhouse and short ribs and all seemed pleased. Anyway, I appreciate the suggestions I got. I'll save some of the others for my next trip to the city!