Eating in Lakeview Neighborhood
I have had some nice dinner at Socca (on Clark @ Aldine). Yoshi's is also a favorite of mine (on Halsted @Aldine). Both are in the heart of the city and you should be able to have a conversation just fine. (My parents like both and they don't do well when the tables are stacked right next to each other and people are loud.)
Also, further west in Lakeview, Fiorentino's is good Italian. It gets mixed reviews, but I've loved everything I get. It's on Ashland @George
Here are a few recommendations.
Deleece is on Southport at Irving and has delicious contemporary American cuisine at surprisingly affordable prices. The atmosphere is bistro-ish casual. I went at an off hour so I can't comment on the noise level, sorry. www.deleece.com
Jack's on Halsted leans towards American comfort food, again with moderate prices. And again I can't comment on the noise level for the same reason. www.jacksonhalsted.com
Chilam Balam serves creative American food, a few steps down from the sidewalk on Broadway. The place is TINY (around 26 seats IIRC) so there aren't enough people to make it too terribly loud. You can make reservations for weekdays only, not weekends, and I recommend doing so. They get busy on weekends (i.e. you may have to wait a while for a table). www.chilambalamchicago.com
Good recs above. Although Chilam Balam was very loud when I was last there, but that was 9pm on a Sat. Would also add Socca on Clark and Erwin on Halsted (btw Diversy and Belmont) - both worth checking out. Socca is a blend of southern French and Italian and Erwin is classic American.