Nanoosh (Upper West Side location) — 81.5 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

We were catching a movie at the AMC Loews at Lincoln Square and decided to try out Nanoosh, a local mini-chain of “mediterranean” restaurants offering a selection of salads, hummus (many varieties), and “powerfood plates.”  It seemed like a safe choice, particularly since  the place was far from crowded.  But we were wrong.

Despite being a Monday night, and with just a few tables occupied, Nanoosh was unnecessarily loud.  Why?  There was not one forgiving material in the place.   Despite the high ceilings, the dining room pulsated with sound as music and chatter bounced off of the large glass windows, on to the slate floor, and off of the tiled niches.  It didn’t help that the music volume was set on loud.  When we asked if the music could be lowered our waitress said that it could not because “the music can only be turned on or off,” and, apparently, off wasn’t an option.  To add insult to injury, the music selection was largely beige talentless chewing gum for the ears.  Why?

Our one-word recommendation: Avoid.  The food was ok, but there’s much better hummus in the city.  More importantly,  we make it a point to avoid places that will not lower the music when asked.  The customer may not always be right, but if a polite request to lower the music is made and ignored then it’s clear that your patronage is not needed or welcomed.

HOURS

11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day

LOCATION

(betw. 68th and 69th Streets), New York, NY 10023

WEBSITE

Nanoosh

 

Craft Bar — 73.6 decibels CLOSED

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

We sat at the bar at Craft Bar for a quick late lunch.  The noise level during our visit was fine, mostly due to the high ceilings, but the space felt very live.  We weren’t surprised, because with the exception of the wooden floors, every surface was hard.  As usual, unnecessary background music added a layer of sound.  Even if the music had been lowered or turned off the space still would have been pingy and live, but it would have been more tolerable.  And then there was a periodic element of noise that really got our attention: the deep rumbling of the subway racing beneath our feet.  The sound and vibration could not be ignored no matter how fleeting.  We have been in spaces where you can hear and feel the subway passing below, but this was louder than we’ve experienced before.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Our nosh at the bar was perfectly tolerable, but when we stopped by the main dining room to see what it was like, we  found it to be very noticeably louder.  Given that the dining room was half empty at the time, we believe it would be uncomfortably loud when packed.  We  recommend that you avoid the dining room unless it’s fairly empty and eat at the bar instead.  The bar service was first rate.

HOURS

Monday through Wednesday: 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Thursday and Friday: 12:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. | 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. | 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

LOCATION

(betw. 19th and 20th Streets), New York, NY 10003

WEBSITE

Craftbar