I tried hard to avoid this post but my searching wasn't turning up the results i wanted - words like loud, quiet and hearing don't return very germane results (though i KNOW there was a thread about a diner with hearing-related low-noise needs relatively recently, i just can't find it and suspect it was for more high end options).
I am looking for a place to take visitors from out of town, one of whom has pretty serious hearing issues that would make a lot of restaurants in the city unpleasant and conversation nearly impossible (and we really want to be able to chat and catch up over this meal). They are footing the bill, and we'd like to avoid sticker shocking them too horribly - meaning entrees at or around 20 bucks or other sharable options to keep the price in the same general range. Despite these constraints we'd still really like to show them a good time and impress them with our nyc-savvy (even if its borrowed from the internet). We are open, geographically speaking, though we spend a lot of time in the E village and LES and would like to show them around the places frequent, but a lot of them are really rather loud.
If the hearing issue wasn't a problem we would probably take them to motorino, but its small, full of hard surfaces, and someone was into blaring the old school rap the last time we were there (it worked but with a different crowd - we were also sitting right under the speaker). Im considering asking them to come to brooklyn and taking them to lucali for delicious pie and the decidedly laid back atmosphere, but while the neighborhood has oodles of charm it doesnt exactly hit the right note.
we're not stuck on pizza, but something typically new york would be great. where should we go for reasonable noise levels, good food, a ny experience without spending a ton of money?