Dad is going to be 89 next month. We want to take him out (we are a group of 8 people) to a nice downtown place on a Friday night November 15 at 7PM (we can't meet any earlier) but we need to find a restaurant that is as quiet as possible, or that has some quiet semi-private areas or alcoves (not a private room) that are still part of the restaurant but make it possible to create our own sort of protected quiet area. Dad is somewhat hard-of-hearing (and of course he is in denial, but that's another story) and he simply won't enjoy himself if there's too much hustle bustle and chatter in an acoustically noisy room that prevents him from participating in any conversations.
Of course, there are restaurants like Lespinasse that are serene, but usually such serenity comes at too high a price. We all want a quality experience costing around $50 per person, more or less. A somewhat high-end serene Italian without too much pretention would be best. ANY suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated and believe me, they ARE needed - my sister and I are at our wit's ends! (The whole private room approach is a dead end - either our group is too small, or the restaurant charges exhorbitantly just to use the room) So, Thanks, chowhounds! We really look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions. Thank you again.