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There are a number of new/new-ish restaurants we'd like to try, but one in our party has a high frequency hearing loss, which makes it hard to hear a conversation in a noisy room. So, we need to choose carefully.

Can anyone who has been to the following restaurants weigh in on their noise level? Thanks in advance.

The NoMad
The Clam
Empire Diner
Bar Bolonat

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  1. Of your list, I've only been to NoMad, Juni and All'Onda. Juni is the only one that is guaranteed quiet. The others depend on where you are seated and just how loud the diners around you are. That said, I will not be returning to Juni because I felt it was poor value for money. If you are willing to spend that much, I'd recommend Picholine or Tocqueville.

    1. What time and day of the week are you considering?
      There can be a huuuggge difference in noise level between a 1pm lunch on a tuesday and an 8:30pm friday night dinner.....

      1. From your list, Juni and The Parlour Room at The NoMad would meet your needs. I have not been to the others. I highly recommend both Juni and The NoMad.

        1. I haven't been to all the places listed, but from the ones I have been to I would say Juni is your safest bet.

          1. Estela is in the category that I would call "very loud." Tables are close together. I am a big fan, but I take a 6pm table.

            Gato has more space between most tables and noise level
            is palatable if you dine on the early side--before 7pm.

            NoMad depends on the room, and of course, the time.

            1. Decoy is surprisingly not super loud, even though it's a tight, small space. There is an alcove seating for 2 that is the quietest section of the restaurant, I would request that if you want to be able to talk at a normal volume.

              1. The NoMad would only work if you were in The Parlour Room (maybe the fireplace room but there is more sound spillover then the parlour).

                The Clam, very small place, gets full, love the place but I don't think it would work

                Estela - no, very loud (in an enjoyable, energetic way) but no way would it work

                1. Ttrockwood, I agree and should have included that info. Lunch is usually not a problem. My real concern is loudness at dinner and particularly on weekends.

                  Would also like to add Betony to the list.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: pace

                    I was actually going to suggest Betony but wasn't sure if you were already decided on your list. If Betony can be added to the choices that's where I would throw my support (but make sure you ask for a table away from the bar to dining room transition area).

                    1. re: Spiritchaser

                      +1 for Betony; agree about asking for a table away from the bar area.

                  2. Definitely avoid Gato and Estela if noise is an issue. Narcissa is buzzy but palatable. The NoMad could likely go either way depending on the time you eat but make a request for a quiet table and I'm sure they'll accommodate - or dine on the early side. I can't speak to the rest.

                    1. Apologies for not getting back sooner to say thank you for your recs and thoughts. Will put your "quiet" suggestions on our list of spots to definitely try. As for the others, we will go for lunch (if open) or go for early dinner. Again, thanks for taking the time to help us out.

                      In the meantime, we've eaten at Bobo and Claudette's. Ate in the upstairs room at Bobo on a Th night. The noise level was reasonable, despite the hour being not extremely early. Mostly two-tops of mature women that night, so maybe we just got lucky.

                      Four of us went to Claudette's at 5:30 on a Fri night. It was quiet enough until about 7:30, by which time the place was full and getting loud.