I know it pains you to have to pull yourself away from the $200 tasting table and rub elbows with the paying hoi polloi, but doesn't an entire article on restaurant noise seem just a bit self-indulgent even to the most jaded critic? Perhaps you think you should use your bully pulpit to make restauranteurs spend more money to make your arduous labors less stressful, but I'd be much more interested in an article deploring the escalating cost of meals or the generally haughty service in their establishments. I can only conclude that, unlike the noise of the rabble, these are not problems you share with us peasants.
Also, congratulations on convincing your employers to finance field trips to other cities. We Washingtonians have a tremendous unrequited curiosity about Minneapolis eateries. We're glad you don't waste our time writing about Baltimore or Silver Spring or Frederick. Though it's a little unclear to me why anyone should read a DC critic for information about Minnesota - or Italy for that matter. Do you suppose an outsider is more qualified than the local critics to judge the food in other cities based on a visit or two ? Especially when that outsider's judgments on his home turf are, shall we say, rather idiosyncratic?