Trying to find a nice place to go out to dinner on a Friday night in Manhattan with another couple where we won’t need to scream to hear each other. Fairly flexible on location/price, but not looking for a formal tasting menu. To give you a sense of our taste, a few spots we’ve enjoyed recently are Frenchette, Barbuto, Claud, Libertine, and Ernesto’s, which in my opinion are all fine for 2 people but challenging for 4. Anything along those lines, just a bit quieter (not necessarily quiet, just not crazy loud), would be great.
I like Chambers a lot. Great wine list and inventive food. Never had it be too loud at all there.
I like Portale. It can get busy, but not quite as noisy as Frenchette and Ernesto’s (of the ones on your list I have tried–like them too!) I think–not as quiet as the others I’ve mentioned. Indian Table has good food, and quiet enough to hear for sure. Sushi places tend to be on the quiet side. Marea is closed for renovations, but chef is cooking at Ai Fiori (haven’t been there in a dog’s age), anyway expensive but I think quiet. Il Buco is on the quiet side, and I think if you ask for an upstairs table Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria is sane too. Report back please!
Milos downstairs is quiet (main level is a bit of a zoo) - the original one, not Hudson Yards. Also Elea, if it’s not too far uptown for your group. You didn’t say what time, but if it’s early enough or with a reservation, Buvette or L’Artusi. The tavern room at Gramercy Tavern is good for 4. Agree with @ninkat on Il Buco and A&V both, but you’ll need a rez (A&V might be busy / loud on a Friday though).
Some prior threads that might be of interest:
Recently celebrated my birthday at Ai Fiori and it was superb as well as quiet. Portale is also a favorite though we haven’t been in some months as the menu doesn’t change (I think we discussed this on another thread).
Gotham. Very civilized.
@Squeaky where did you end up going?