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  1. Yes, I should have made this request early on. I did tell the people at the other table that their noise was "seriously affecting our enjoying the evening" and for a while they quieted down. Then for the last third of the meal, they got loud (or louder) again. About half an hour into that, I did ask to move, but the restaurant was full and I don't think there was an option to move--no staff ever came over to inform us we could move (the gesture was made by the waiter, and we said yes). But long story short, I should have said something early on and we would have been able to move.
  2. Thanks, folks. I'm seeing (again, obvious, but..) our greatest mistake was in not asking for a different table when the problem started. I put too much hope the restaurant would be able to ask them to tone it down. This is helpful, because undoubtedly, there will be a next time somewhere, sometime.
  3. Thanks; this is a good suggestion. I posted this on a wine board I frequent and folks there also pointed out (correctly) that I should have let the manager know much earlier on and asked to be moved to another table much earlier on. Had we done this early on, it probably would have avoided the disappointment at the end. Based on the same response from the Lespinasse staff years ago, I am curious what folks who have gone to restaurant/hotel hospitality school (e.g. Cornell, abroad) were taught about what the textbook response is in a situation like this. But in the future, I have learned a lesson to let the management know much earlier on in the dinner. It seems obvious, of course, but in the moment, I guess we hoped it would get better (hope springs eternal, I guess, even though baseless).
  4. There are no TV screens in the restaurant. They are in a bar which is quite separate from the dining room. Just so folks get a sense of this as a fine dining restaurant--we had house made ricotta with shaved black truffle, we had a house made bigoli pasta with lobster and shaved black truffle, etc etc and the bill for 4 of us was just under $1,000.00. They have a good wine list and we had a magnum of a second growth 1996 Bordeaux. This is not a dive place and there are no tv's that can be seen from the restaurant portion of the restaurant. Now, after the less than helpful comments above, may I ask others ITB what is the "expected" approach from a fine dining restaurant? This happened to me many years ago at Lespinasse in the St Regis Hotel in NYC and I got the same response: "There's nothing we can do, unfortunately." Is that the "standard" response when this situation occurs?
  5. Regardless of where you sat in the "fine dining restaurant", would that not be the expected response at a place that features a "very lively bar with TV screens and its own DJ later in the evening"? I don't believe so. The bar is in one side of the restaurant and the fine dining on the other side. The restaurant, despite what you may think, is considered fine dining. It is not a sports bar or some kind of similar place. Do you work in the restaurant industry?
  6. I would love to hear your comment on how to handle excessively loud and boisterous diners at a fine dining restaurant. This happened tonight; we had invited a couple to a hip, though fine dining restaurant and the table next to us consisted of 6 drunk diners, 3 men, 3 women who were entirely loud and obnoxious. The restaurant where we were is not a sedate, Michelin *** gastronomic restaurant; indeed, it has a very lively bar with TV screens and its own DJ later in the evening but it is fine dining--we ate in the dining room, not the bar. It is decidedly fine dining, and we had two dishes with black truffles and another pasta dish with black truffles and lobster. It is, by any definition, fine dining with a name chef and operated by a well known restaurant group. Our dinner tonight started at 6:45pm and ended at 9:55pm. The table next to us was so loud, the men were laughing hysterically at the top of their voices, the women encouraging them and also loud, and the women began making sexual gestures around the food. The problem wasn't the behavior of the woman with her sexual gestures--it was the loud talking and laughing of the entire table. So loud, that our guests (he is 28, she is 26) commented that it was ruining their first time at the restaurant. It bordered on ruining our night for all 4 of us; so much so that early in the evening, when I shot daggers at them via my eyes and they realized they were loud, they seemed for a nanosecond embarrassed, and I said to them "You are ruining our dinner; seriously." The ensuing quiet from them lasted 5 minutes, then they resumed. At the end of our 3 hour meal, when they got even more drunk and resumed their profoundly loud laughing and carrying on, we told the management of the loud noise and that it had ruined experience; they basically shrugged as if to say (and I think they actually did say this) "We're sorry about the noise but there's really nothing that we can do. We're not prudes or church mice; indeed, we like the music at the restaurant and love the hip vibe. That our 20-something guests had an issue with the noise also makes a statement. So....those of you either in the restaurant industry or as diners (btw, we are regulars at the restaurant; we go there usually 2 times a week and are quite friendly with the management and chef), what are your thoughts about how this might be handled? Thanks!
  7. I'm one who, historically, read the NYT restaurant reviews religiously. During Bruni's tenure, I'd go to the NYT website Tuesday nights starting at 8PM and look for the next day's review. With Sifton, I have found myself not only not reading his reviews but no longer caring. I'm actually kind of glad to see him go. This discussion continues in the NYT Articles on Food, Drink, Cooking, and Culinary Culture (2011– ) topic.
  8. IMHO best steak in NYC is at Minetta Tavern. Cote de boef is outstanding.
  9. DutchMuse


    Great report and very very encouraging. I must have not ordered just the right stuff; can't wait to go again and "correct" my experience.
  10. Interesting. I have found it, believe it or not, better than the Peking duck I've had in Bejing.
  11. DutchMuse


    Went a few nights ago. Thought it was good but surprisingly not outstanding. Pastas were ok, but I thought I could probably do as well at home. Loved the salume, loved the ravioli with egg (that was the one pasta that was out of sight good). Thought the suckling pig was good but not profound. The fried artichokes were a bit soggy and kind of tepid in temperature. Does anyone have an issue with a single brand of spirit offered? (i.e. Belvedere vodka, Plymouth gin, etc)? Those are fine brands, but sometimes I'd like a different type of gin, but not available here--they have an agreement, as I understand it, with the supplier.
  12. DutchMuse


    What's the update, Weinoo?
  13. Without any question, IMHO, Peking Duck House either on Mott or 53rd. (They have two locations). Best Peking duck in NYC.
  14. NYC is quite large; anyone's list is probably going to reflect the neighborhood in which they live. For me, I like Socarrat in Chelsea, Grand Sichuan International on 9th Ave/24th St., and John's pizza on Bleeker St. Just some places that come to mind.
  15. Does anyone else have a hard time with Sifton's writing style? It just seems....dry, a bit thick, and uninteresting. Also, I found, with the Marea review, a disconnect between the descriptions (text) and the stars awarded. I want to like him and his reviews, but I just can't get beyond the writing style. Anyone else have this reaction?
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