Hott Links: Bring In ‘Da Noise
Maybe because 80P is always telling me to keep my voice down, I never notice how loud or quiet a restaurant is – I just scream regardless. But apparently I might be the only person that feels this way. According to a 5-part investigative report by Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema, noise is the number one complaint about eating out.
He explained the severity through this over-the-top story:
Brown, a 35-year-old senior finance manager at a Washington nonprofit, planned to propose to Rebecca Oser at Central Michel Richard downtown just before Valentine’s Day. Fueled by a few drinks, Brown says, he pulled out a gift-wrapped box containing a sapphire ring from his jacket pocket before the dessert course. It should have been a memorable moment. Instead, Brown found himself competing for Oser’s attention with a bustling open kitchen, CNN anchors on overhead TVs and a conversation at the next table that got louder when another person walked over to say hello.
Despite the distractions, Brown popped the question: Rebecca, will you marry me? He’s not sure if he actually heard the reply, but he got the response he was looking for. Oser, a 29-year-old project director, slipped on the ring and came around the table to sit beside him.
First off, public engagements should be outlawed. You’d think that for this most special of all nights people would want to be in private. I know I don’t want to see a blubbering bride-to-be flashing a diamond around to people she doesn’t know. Get a room! (The best engagement story I’ve heard so far is from my friend, Jules – she was in her sweatpants when Gary proposed! And, she’s letting the bridesmaids sport these gorgeous, absolutely re-wearable dresses! Love you, Jules!)
Anyway, I’d absolutely rather enjoy food in a loud restaurant (my fav place, Bistrot du Coin, was rated the nosiest place in the city!) than in a setting where I have to whisper for fear of everyone hearing my conversation.
When 80 took me to Vidalia for my birthday, we actually both hunched over the table (well, maybe I was hunching because I was hungover) so 80 could whisper to me the details of the previous night’s Happy Hour without completely appalling the neighboring table.
But here, take a look at Tom’s articles and let me know your thoughts on restaurant noise.