I want to go out to a new top-end restaurant. I've been to many of the good ones, i.e., Radius, L'Espalier, Locke-Ober, Biba, Julien, Aujourd'hui, Hamersley's, Rialto, Mama Maria, Maison Robert, Harvest and of course all the steakhouses.
I'm thinking of: Clio, #9 Park, Upstairs on the Square, Oleana, Troquet, Federalist. None of which I've been to. I am blessed, and occasionally cursed, with sharp hearing. One thing I really hate is these restaurants designed to assault you with sound, where they seem to think that punishing your eardrums is "exciting." I find it very annoying. I'm a little wary of Upstairs on the Square because I saw a comment on this board saying the food was great but the place was too loud, and the NYT review of #9 Park seemed to imply it was loud.
I'm not as extreme on the issue as my "hate" comment would imply. It's not as if I've got to eat in a mortuary or anything! But I'd like to be able to hold a normal conversation in the place, and hopefully not be jammed right next to another diner.
I'm not price sensitive. I was in Chicago a couple weeks ago and happily paid $950 for three at Charlie Trotter's. I love great food, great service and great ambiance and have no hesitancy when the check arrives. I just want to escape with my damn eardrums intact.
By the way, I don't like Asian food. Please don't try to convince me. I've tried high-end Asian and Asian fusion cuisine in a number of places in a number of cities. Doesn't do a thing for me. So Blue Ginger is out.
Thoghts, anyone? Maybe another way to put it is that the "buzz" I want is the food, not the noise?