Taheni Mediterranean Grill — 71.4 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Taheni Mediterranean Grill is a Palestinian restaurant located at the corner of 4th Avenue and Union Street in Gowanus, Brooklyn. It’s proof that a decibel reading, standing alone, can be misleading. Why? Because 71.4 decibels is a very respectable reading, but the space was not as comfortable as the reading might suggest.

Taheni had only been open for a short time when we paid a visit, and it wasn’t very crowded at lunch. Most of our fellow diners were eating by themselves, with the exception of one table of three young men. That table seemed loud because they were the only ones engaged in animated conversation (and, frankly, they were loud).

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

There’s a drop ceiling in the dining space which could help to abate some noise, but the open kitchen and long expanses of glass make the place irredeemably live. Add in the tiled floor, tiled counter area, and metal chairs, and it’s as if someone purposefully design the space to be loud. The location didn’t help, as the corner of Union and 4th Avenue is heavily trafficked, and there was active construction going on across the street which was probably the source of a mechanical hum that we heard during our entire visit.

In addition, there was music playing in the background, but the volume wasn’t too loud. The low music volume and the absence of conversation once the one table of three left, is the reason the reading was fairly low. Overall, the soundscape wasn’t loud or chaotic, but it wasn’t calm or relaxed either.  At best, it was tolerable.

It seemed obvious to us that at a busy time the space will be too loud. The space is exceptionally live–there is too much glass and nothing to absorb or diffuse sound.  It’s a shame, really, as the food was tasty and the staff were friendly.  We don’t recommend that you avoid Taheni.  Rather, we suggest that you visit at lunch time or a slow evening or order food to go.

HOURS

Monday through Friday: 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

LOCATION

Avenue (at the corner of Union Street), Brooklyn, NY 11215

WEBSITE

Taheni Mediterranean Grill

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