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Moderately priced, impressive for out-of-towners and QUIET restaurant?

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I tried hard to avoid this post but my searching wasn't turning up the results i wanted - words like loud, quiet and hearing don't return very germane results (though i KNOW there was a thread about a diner with hearing-related low-noise needs relatively recently, i just can't find it and suspect it was for more high end options).

I am looking for a place to take visitors from out of town, one of whom has pretty serious hearing issues that would make a lot of restaurants in the city unpleasant and conversation nearly impossible (and we really want to be able to chat and catch up over this meal). They are footing the bill, and we'd like to avoid sticker shocking them too horribly - meaning entrees at or around 20 bucks or other sharable options to keep the price in the same general range. Despite these constraints we'd still really like to show them a good time and impress them with our nyc-savvy (even if its borrowed from the internet). We are open, geographically speaking, though we spend a lot of time in the E village and LES and would like to show them around the places frequent, but a lot of them are really rather loud.

If the hearing issue wasn't a problem we would probably take them to motorino, but its small, full of hard surfaces, and someone was into blaring the old school rap the last time we were there (it worked but with a different crowd - we were also sitting right under the speaker). Im considering asking them to come to brooklyn and taking them to lucali for delicious pie and the decidedly laid back atmosphere, but while the neighborhood has oodles of charm it doesnt exactly hit the right note.

we're not stuck on pizza, but something typically new york would be great. where should we go for reasonable noise levels, good food, a ny experience without spending a ton of money?

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  1. I would consider Tsampa or Chiyono in the East Village.
    The noise level varies greatly at most places depending on whether it is a weekday or weekend, so if you have decided on that, it is easier to suggest.
    There is a Japanese bar approx. above the St Marks bookshop (through a couple of unsigned doors, which open at 6 - sorry I dont remember the name) that doesn't allow more than 4 people, so that's an option to get a quiet drink, depending on your party size.

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    Chiyono
    328 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003

    Tsampa
    212 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003

    1 Reply
    1. re: sidd

      The bar you're thining of is Angel's Share - it's hidden behind (well, technically, in front of) the 2nd floor restaurant.

      Yeah, the EV/LES is not known for "quiet" - Graffiti isn't too bad, it's a small space, but because it only fits, like, 18 people, it can never get too boisterous. And entrees top off at $17 as I recall.

      Otherwise... Clinton St. Baking Co isn't too loud, at least compared to other 'hood options. Alias is usually pretty sedate, especially on weeknights.

      The Orchard is good, if you can bump your entree price up a smidgeon. Very quiet, the setting very serene.

      Itzocan Cafe might be fun, a little hole in the wall doing Mexican "fusion" - underrated little gem, I think.

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      The Orchard
      162 Orchard St., New York, NY 10002

      Alias
      76 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

      Angel's Share
      8 Stuyvesant St, New York, NY 10003

      Itzocan Cafe
      438 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009

      Graffiti
      224 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

      Clinton Street Baking Co.
      4 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

    2. We had dinner this past Tuesday evening at Cafe Charbon on Orchard St, and it was exceptional. It might be noisier on weekends, but at 8:00 on a Tuesday, there was no noise issue at all. Plenty of entrees under $20.00, a pretty good winelist, a charming and competant staff, and what could be more of an NYC than the Lower East Side?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Fydeaux

        Loved this place! Went to this fabulous neighborhood find last night with my wife, my West Village son and his fiancé. Every visit here from my beloved Philadelphia is a culinary adventure as my son, who dines out for 90% of his meals and has found some of the best spots for any and every food type, price point and ambiance, does a focused search for something special to turn us on to.

        His search for last nights dining was a "bullseye"!! From the moment we were received and greeted, until the bill, which was more than reasonable, was paid, we were completely thrilled! French bistro's don't get much better regardless of price. Our Parisian waitress was lovely and accommodating, our food was perfect, and the experience was a 10 in every way!!

        This Restaurant is NOT CLOSED!!!

        We will return! Don't miss this find!!

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        Cafe Charbon
        170 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002