What a disappointing visit. We enjoyed the food and loved the look and layout of the space, but Malatesta Trattoria is the single loudest restaurant that we have visited to date. The design elements did not bear the brunt of the blame this time. No, it was the combination of unnecessary background music, an open kitchen, yelling staff, and overwhelming street noise that combined to make for one of the most unpleasant dining experiences we have ever had.
August 2016 will be remembered as a particularly uncomfortable, hot, and humid month; it was a real struggle slogging through the month. Opening the windows may have seemed a sensible choice, particularly as Malatesta is located close to the Hudson River and the open windows invited in the occasional breeze. But you know what also helps? Air conditioning. And under the circumstances–it was hot as hell and muggy to boot–air conditioning was called for.
There was some air conditioning or a strong fan going in the space, but the open windows meant the space was not going to approach cool. And if the windows were closed, at least the traffic noise could have been kept out. That said, if the windows were closed and the music was kept at the same volume, the experience might have been worse since glass is unforgiving. So what could they do to mitigate the sound overload?
As usual, the simple act of shutting off the music that no one was listening to would have gone a long way to make the space more hospitable. We could hear the other patrons screaming over the music but we could not hear the music clearly enough to “enjoy” it. In short, it simply added a thick layer of unnecessary sound that brought no pleasure to anyone. The only reason we didn’t run from the place was because the open windows kept the space from being live and, to be frank, it was too damn hot to contemplate finding another place for a nosh.
The physical space is charming and the food was lovely–we wanted to fall in love with Malatesta Trattoria. Sadly, we could not, and must regretfully recommend that you avoid it.
Monday through Friday: 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 12:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Street (on the corner of Christopher Street), New York, NY 10014