Junto Photos: Richard Carreno
Dining Without the Noise (At Lunch Only!)
I spoke yesterday with maitre d'hotel of Patis, 9 Ninth Avenue, New York, after my visit to the Highline park. (It's nearby the south end of the Highline in the West Village). The restaurant was eerily quiet -- none of the clanging din, shouting, and general cacophony usually associated with these Frenchie bistros. Parc, in Rittenhouse Square, is Exhibit A. (Parc's mega decibel level recently turned a friend, David Traub, and I away. We wanted to actually, like, talk). How come it's so relatively quiet at Patis?, I asked. 'Qui, Qui,' the head guy responded, actually speaking in English. Fairly quiet, he noted. But, at night, wear the ear plugs. The problem, he explained, is common to all replica French restos -- tile, especially unbaffled tile. Sounds just keep ricocheting off the tiles, never being absorbed by the elements. Ping, ping, ping, ad nauseum. So much much for talking.