Quiet, fun restaurants Manhattan
Always on lookout for quiet restaurants. Fun? I'm not even sure what I mean. My favorites at this point are Candle79, Compass, private wine cave Piccoline[four people minimum]. Yes, good food is important, but I'd rather have mediocre food than noise. Noise is not just loud talking, etc. It's also troubling accoustics, jumbled decoration, and much more. Not to suggest that I have to go to an upscale place. I love dives, and dark places too.
In terms of food, I am what-is-called clean. I eat meat, etc. very infrequently, and usually have vegtable stirfys at home. I am a personal trainer, and Taoist instructor. However, my friends are not like I am. And I can always find something on a menu to eat. So health food is not necessary. If I had my way, I would never go out to eat. But I do see friends off and on, and they like to go out.
So any suggestions that you all could make would be most appreciated. And I will supply feedback. Thanks. Lita
One place that would cover your request for "clean" and "quiet" would be Rouge Tomate. It is not a dark dive place, quite the opposite: lots of glass but clean, minimalist lines. However the tables are spaced decently far apart and with the wide open space we had no problem hearing each other. The menu is similarly minimalist; I found the food to be quite well prepared.
Another option would be Aquavit: also minimalist decor (it is Scandinavian, after all), and different cuisine than your standard fare.
In the fun category:
A few years ago I had a very nice meal at Phillip Marie (Hudson St. & 11th, I think). They're in an old west village building and have private rooms downstairs. We had dinner for four in an old wine cellar and it was very quiet. They often have a variety of game on the menu.
If you consider fondue fun: La Bonne Soupe. Don't remember noise level. Artisanal has been recommended for fondue, but I haven't been.
I really enjoyed Suba on the lower east side. The dining room was in the basement and surrounded by a moat. There is a new restaurant there now and I don't know what happened to the moat.
Moat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now that's fun. However I now realize what I mean by fun - running around with 50lbs of sand - is not what my friends mean.
I'm pretty extreme - I mean it in a good way.
In general, I find Scandinavian places too cold. This should not be a surprise. Chinese energy practices are about energy, and the quality of it. I respond well to integrated places, coming from a heartfelt place, not just about making money. To me, it's all about the quality of the space. Part of that is, of course, the food. My friends are not so sensitive. They are more concerned with the food, and that it's quiet enough so we can hear our own converstaion.
Re fondu: it is fun on a very silly level. Unfortunately/fortunately I don't do cheese. But I will NEVER turn down a chocolate fondu.
Thanks for your suggestions. LIta