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Boltwood- OMFG Evanston is back in style again!

Boltwood- OMFG Evanston is back in style again!
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  • Post #31 - August 29th, 2014, 3:40 pm
    Post #31 - August 29th, 2014, 3:40 pm Post #31 - August 29th, 2014, 3:40 pm
    Phil Vettel’s review (linked to by nsxtasy) makes it sound like the noise problem is a thing of the past. He writes, “As to the noise issue, it’s something Huston and partner John Kim…worked quickly to address.”

    Not with much effectiveness, apparently. Today I had lunch with a friend who, I learned, was there last night. When he told me this, I didn’t tell him I’d been there, too; I simply asked for the impression he and his group had of the place. First words out of his mouth (and I paraphrase closely): “Painfully, ridiculously noisy. We couldn’t hear each other. By the end, my head was splitting from the noise.”

    He went on to comment about the food, which he found good enough (although not great); the unacceptable noise level was the headline for him, though.

    In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the decibel level were exactly where Huston and Kim now want it to be. For some patrons, it probably makes it seem as if something is happening there.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #32 - September 29th, 2014, 12:16 am
    Post #32 - September 29th, 2014, 12:16 am Post #32 - September 29th, 2014, 12:16 am
    Hi- I happened to walk past Boltwood yesterday, and they had the front entrance open, and so I peaked my head inside, and the place was 90% full at 7:00, and it was still way too noisy.
  • Post #33 - September 30th, 2014, 3:57 pm
    Post #33 - September 30th, 2014, 3:57 pm Post #33 - September 30th, 2014, 3:57 pm
    Yeah...Re the recent article in the Trib's food section about how restaurateurs are scrambling to make their places less noisy, and now assert that high decibels were a great, unintended mistake: I'm not buyin' it. The trend-toward-deafening is too widespread to have been an accident. Restaurants like Boltwood, Piccolo Sogno Due and others, unless I miss my guess, aim for this, in order to create a sense of event. The Trib's attention to this problem (pushed along, I hope, by my post here--never underestimate the power of LTH) may cause a reversal in the trend. I hope so, because it's nothing less than a public health problem. In the meantime, I'd like to believe the Boltwood owners' protestations of "gosh, we had no idea how noisy the place would be"--and maybe some do believe them, and maybe those people are right--but I don't.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #34 - September 30th, 2014, 4:21 pm
    Post #34 - September 30th, 2014, 4:21 pm Post #34 - September 30th, 2014, 4:21 pm
    riddlemay wrote:Yeah...Re the recent article in the Trib's food section about how restaurateurs are scrambling to make their places less noisy, and now assert that high decibels were a great, unintended mistake: I'm not buyin' it. The trend-toward-deafening is too widespread to have been an accident. Restaurants like Boltwood, Piccolo Sogno Due and others, unless I miss my guess, aim for this, in order to create a sense of event. The Trib's attention to this problem (pushed along, I hope, by my post here--never underestimate the power of LTH) may cause a reversal in the trend. I hope so, because it's nothing less than a public health problem. In the meantime, I'd like to believe the Boltwood owners' protestations of "gosh, we had no idea how noisy the place would be"--and maybe some do believe them, and maybe those people are right--but I don't.

    LOL! I'm calling bullshit on you calling bullshit. :P

    I'd guess that it has to do with money, and spending as little as possible to get a place open. If the noise level is decent without having to spend more, great. If not, Plan B gets enacted. The bottom line is most likely the bottom line.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #35 - September 30th, 2014, 4:38 pm
    Post #35 - September 30th, 2014, 4:38 pm Post #35 - September 30th, 2014, 4:38 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:LOL! I'm calling bullshit on you calling bullshit. :P

    I'd guess that it has to do with money, and spending as little as possible to get a place open. If the noise level is decent without having to spend more, great. If not, Plan B gets enacted. The bottom line is most likely the bottom line.


    It all has to do with what the meaning of "decent" is. The proprietors of Piccolo Sogno Due, which has a noise level I'd call positively indecent (like the noise level at Boltwood--which, by the way, I experienced after the fixes were ostensibly made, according to my recollection of the timeline in the article), probably think the decibel level is entirely decent. They're not wrong, if you judge it on how people are voting with their feet. (The place is full.) The question in my mind is, what is the objectively measurable sustained noise level at which irreversible hearing loss occurs? And if places exceed it, what will it take to get municipalities to view noise as a public health issue, for employees and customers?
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #36 - September 30th, 2014, 9:39 pm
    Post #36 - September 30th, 2014, 9:39 pm Post #36 - September 30th, 2014, 9:39 pm
    riddlemay wrote:The proprietors of Piccolo Sogno Due, which has a noise level I'd call positively indecent (like the noise level at Boltwood--which, by the way, I experienced after the fixes were ostensibly made, according to my recollection of the timeline in the article), probably think the decibel level is entirely decent. They're not wrong, if you judge it on how people are voting with their feet. (The place is full.) The question in my mind is, what is the objectively measurable sustained noise level at which irreversible hearing loss occurs? And if places exceed it, what will it take to get municipalities to view noise as a public health issue, for employees and customers?

    Huh??? I had dinner seated in the middle of the main dining room at Piccolo Sogno Due at a peak hour on a Saturday evening a few weeks ago, and although the restaurant was full, I thought the noise level was basically average for Chicago restaurants when full - quieter than some, louder than others, but not particularly noisy and certainly not at all objectionable.

    I also ate at Boltwood earlier this month, and Boltwood was much, much, MUCH louder than PSD. I would put Boltwood in the 90th percentile of noise as Chicago-area restaurants go - not as ear-splitting as the loudest restaurants I've been to (e.g. Avec, Kinmont, Cooper's Hawk, E+O, or Huston's previous gig, Publican), but objectionable enough that I would think twice before returning, even though the food was pretty good (albeit not terrific like the food at Oceanique, Quince, Found, and Campagnola).
  • Post #37 - October 1st, 2014, 7:31 am
    Post #37 - October 1st, 2014, 7:31 am Post #37 - October 1st, 2014, 7:31 am
    nsxtasy wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:The proprietors of Piccolo Sogno Due, which has a noise level I'd call positively indecent (like the noise level at Boltwood--which, by the way, I experienced after the fixes were ostensibly made, according to my recollection of the timeline in the article), probably think the decibel level is entirely decent. They're not wrong, if you judge it on how people are voting with their feet. (The place is full.) The question in my mind is, what is the objectively measurable sustained noise level at which irreversible hearing loss occurs? And if places exceed it, what will it take to get municipalities to view noise as a public health issue, for employees and customers?

    Huh??? I had dinner seated in the middle of the main dining room at Piccolo Sogno Due at a peak hour on a Saturday evening a few weeks ago, and although the restaurant was full, I thought the noise level was basically average for Chicago restaurants when full - quieter than some, louder than others, but not particularly noisy and certainly not at all objectionable.

    I also ate at Boltwood earlier this month, and Boltwood was much, much, MUCH louder than PSD. I would put Boltwood in the 90th percentile of noise as Chicago-area restaurants go - not as ear-splitting as the loudest restaurants I've been to (e.g. Avec, Kinmont, Cooper's Hawk, E+O, or Huston's previous gig, Publican), but objectionable enough that I would think twice before returning, even though the food was pretty good (albeit not terrific like the food at Oceanique, Quince, Found, and Campagnola).


    nsxtasy, sounds like your experience of Boltwood--food and noise--lines up pretty much with mine and some others, which helps me feel less like a cranky old curmudgeon on the noise issue. Which I continue to think is not merely an annoyance, not merely a reason not to return, but a matter worthy of investigation and possible regulation.

    Doing a cursory survey of the internet, I see there are noise ordinances in many municipalities across the country--including Chicago and Evanston. These tend to focus on noise from machinery or sound amplification. But if noise from people reaches the same decibel levels--such that employees are exposed to it as a condition of their employment, for example--well, my opinion is that those situations ought to be covered, if they aren't already.

    As for PSD, I'm glad your experience was pleasanter. I'll give you a semi-objective metric to describe the noise on the night we were there. We literally could not hear the voices of our dining companions directly across the four-top, we literally could not hear the waiter, and the waiter literally could not hear us. (Which was proved by elements of the order being incorrect on arrival, which I'm certain was not his fault.)
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #38 - October 1st, 2014, 8:49 am
    Post #38 - October 1st, 2014, 8:49 am Post #38 - October 1st, 2014, 8:49 am
    I'm a cranky old curmudgeon as far as noise is concerned, and while Boltwood is loud, it's no louder than Libertad, which is one of my favorite places in the area. If the food were more memorable, then the noise at Boltwood would be less of an issue.
  • Post #39 - October 1st, 2014, 9:56 am
    Post #39 - October 1st, 2014, 9:56 am Post #39 - October 1st, 2014, 9:56 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:Yeah...Re the recent article in the Trib's food section about how restaurateurs are scrambling to make their places less noisy, and now assert that high decibels were a great, unintended mistake: I'm not buyin' it. The trend-toward-deafening is too widespread to have been an accident. Restaurants like Boltwood, Piccolo Sogno Due and others, unless I miss my guess, aim for this, in order to create a sense of event. The Trib's attention to this problem (pushed along, I hope, by my post here--never underestimate the power of LTH) may cause a reversal in the trend. I hope so, because it's nothing less than a public health problem. In the meantime, I'd like to believe the Boltwood owners' protestations of "gosh, we had no idea how noisy the place would be"--and maybe some do believe them, and maybe those people are right--but I don't.

    LOL! I'm calling bullshit on you calling bullshit. :P

    I'd guess that it has to do with money, and spending as little as possible to get a place open. If the noise level is decent without having to spend more, great. If not, Plan B gets enacted. The bottom line is most likely the bottom line.

    =R=


    I don't understand. Surely you aren't suggesting that the diners' enjoyment should be more important than the bottom line?

    ( :twisted: )
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #40 - October 1st, 2014, 9:57 am
    Post #40 - October 1st, 2014, 9:57 am Post #40 - October 1st, 2014, 9:57 am
    riddlemay wrote:As for PSD, I'm glad your experience was pleasanter. I'll give you a semi-objective metric to describe the noise on the night we were there. We literally could not hear the voices of our dining companions directly across the four-top, we literally could not hear the waiter, and the waiter literally could not hear us. (Which was proved by elements of the order being incorrect on arrival, which I'm certain was not his fault.)

    That is indeed my metric as well - the inability to hear others at a table of four without shouting at each other. I've experienced that level of noise (shouting required) at all the loudest places I mentioned earlier (Avec, Kinmont, Cooper's Hawk, E+O, Publican). It was not at all that loud at PSD a few weeks ago - not even close. (I was actually paying close attention to the noise levels that night, and was pleased at the time to notice how relatively moderate they were.)

    spinynorman99 wrote:I'm a cranky old curmudgeon as far as noise is concerned, and while Boltwood is loud, it's no louder than Libertad, which is one of my favorite places in the area. If the food were more memorable, then the noise at Boltwood would be less of an issue.

    I don't think one needs to be considered a cranky old curmudgeon to object to noise levels that require shouting to be heard.

    However, while I agree with you that the food at Boltwood was not memorable (good yes, memorable no), I still object to ear-splitting noise levels even where the food is memorable; it still results in an unpleasant dining experience, despite the food.
  • Post #41 - October 1st, 2014, 3:09 pm
    Post #41 - October 1st, 2014, 3:09 pm Post #41 - October 1st, 2014, 3:09 pm
    From the Chicago Magazine review: "And a contagious energy charges the one long communal table, which is a nice way of saying it’s louder than warfare." If I'm the owner, I read this and think the noise level is a positive. I guess the majority of people don't mind shouting and barely being able to hold a conversation if they think they are at a happening place with "contagious energy."
  • Post #42 - October 1st, 2014, 3:24 pm
    Post #42 - October 1st, 2014, 3:24 pm Post #42 - October 1st, 2014, 3:24 pm
    I know several groups who will not return to Boltwood because of the noise. I just wanted to get the hell out of there, and I'm someone who's played in rock bands for years.
  • Post #43 - October 1st, 2014, 4:24 pm
    Post #43 - October 1st, 2014, 4:24 pm Post #43 - October 1st, 2014, 4:24 pm
    riddlemay wrote:sounds like your experience of Boltwood--food and noise--lines up pretty much with mine and some others, which helps me feel less like a cranky old curmudgeon on the noise issue. Which I continue to think is not merely an annoyance, not merely a reason not to return, but a matter worthy of investigation and possible regulation.


    This is nonsense. Most restaurants already operate on the thinnest of margins. The last thing restaurantuers need is for the government to get involved in the regulation of noise levels at their places of business. If a restaurant is too loud for you, don't go back, or post your curmudgeonly comments on a website like this one. The suggestion that this is a health issue is laughable. You are certainly entitled to your opinion but I hope you don't run for office on this platform. Next thing people like you will be calling for a ban on alchohol because some people who drink might become alcoholics (oops, already been tried---how'd that work out?)

    BTW The food at Boltwood is consistently lovely and the atmosphere is fantastic. A quick google search might turn up some places serving early bird specials if you are looking to eat dinner in a library.
  • Post #44 - October 1st, 2014, 5:08 pm
    Post #44 - October 1st, 2014, 5:08 pm Post #44 - October 1st, 2014, 5:08 pm
    iblock9 wrote:This is nonsense. Most restaurants already operate on the thinnest of margins. The last thing restaurantuers need is for the government to get involved in the regulation of noise levels at their places of business. If a restaurant is too loud for you, don't go back, or post your curmudgeonly comments on a website like this one. The suggestion that this is a health issue is laughable. You are certainly entitled to your opinion but I hope you don't run for office on this platform. Next thing people like you will be calling for a ban on alchohol because some people who drink might become alcoholics (oops, already been tried---how'd that work out?)


    I think a more apt analogy, rather than alcohol, is smoking. In fact, the government (states and local municipalities) does ban smoking in bars and restaurants because protecting public health in this case is judged a greater imperative than personal freedom. We don't solve it by saying, "Hey, if you don't like inhaling smoke, don't go there." (Although I'm sure there are some who think that would have been the way to go.)

    Here is the page from the National Institutes of Health website about noise-induced hearing loss:

    http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing ... noise.aspx
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #45 - October 1st, 2014, 5:10 pm
    Post #45 - October 1st, 2014, 5:10 pm Post #45 - October 1st, 2014, 5:10 pm
    I don't think legislation is the answer. If you don't want to go to overly loud restaurants, don't go. There's sufficient demand for restaurants that aren't horribly noisy that there will always be plenty of other places to go.

    iblock9 wrote:A quick google search might turn up some places serving early bird specials if you are looking to eat dinner in a library.

    Wow. Nice way to disrespect others and deride their opinions, when everyone has been clear that they're simply looking for a restaurant where they can hear their dining companions without having to shout. Too bad you can't show the same respect for the opinions of others that they/we have shown for yours. :roll:
  • Post #46 - October 1st, 2014, 5:21 pm
    Post #46 - October 1st, 2014, 5:21 pm Post #46 - October 1st, 2014, 5:21 pm
    iblock9 wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:sounds like your experience of Boltwood--food and noise--lines up pretty much with mine and some others, which helps me feel less like a cranky old curmudgeon on the noise issue. Which I continue to think is not merely an annoyance, not merely a reason not to return, but a matter worthy of investigation and possible regulation.


    This is nonsense. Most restaurants already operate on the thinnest of margins. The last thing restaurantuers need is for the government to get involved in the regulation of noise levels at their places of business. If a restaurant is too loud for you, don't go back, or post your curmudgeonly comments on a website like this one. The suggestion that this is a health issue is laughable. You are certainly entitled to your opinion but I hope you don't run for office on this platform. Next thing people like you will be calling for a ban on alchohol because some people who drink might become alcoholics (oops, already been tried---how'd that work out?)

    BTW The food at Boltwood is consistently lovely and the atmosphere is fantastic. A quick google search might turn up some places serving early bird specials if you are looking to eat dinner in a library.


    There's a balancing of priorities here. Some places can get away with a loud atmosphere, others can't. This reminds me of Mike Short's years at the fantastic Star Top Cafe (20 or so years ago). He'd play music at a fairly loud level and if someone complained that it was too loud, he's turn it up. He was arrogant but got away with it because the food was so good. At some point when the buzz wears off, Boltwood will need to reevaluate their noise level.
  • Post #47 - October 1st, 2014, 5:27 pm
    Post #47 - October 1st, 2014, 5:27 pm Post #47 - October 1st, 2014, 5:27 pm
    Incidentally, one thing about Boltwood worth mentioning is that the menu changes VERY frequently. We ate there on September 12 and almost everything we had (e.g. octopus, gnocchi, kale flatbread, pavlova, peach pie) is no longer on the September 25 menu on their website, while other dishes have taken their place. There's actually one dish (sweetbreads) that was on the website menu a few days before I went, not on the menu when I went, and is back on the menu now.
  • Post #48 - October 1st, 2014, 6:40 pm
    Post #48 - October 1st, 2014, 6:40 pm Post #48 - October 1st, 2014, 6:40 pm
    Here now. Noise not even remotely an issue. Can't wait to eat. Smells great in here.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #49 - October 1st, 2014, 10:09 pm
    Post #49 - October 1st, 2014, 10:09 pm Post #49 - October 1st, 2014, 10:09 pm
    The noise at Boltwood when I went in early September to a completely full restaurant? Not a big deal at all. One person in my party who routinely gripes about noise in restaurants has already declared her intent to return.

    From start to finish, our group of five really, really enjoyed the meal at Boltwood. The menu is set up similar to Publican with dishes getting bigger the further along in the menu you go, and with the expectation that most items are going to be shared.

    We put a decent dent in the menu and didn't have a single dud in the bunch. Highlights were sweetbreads with blueberries, squid salad, dover sole, halibut in a tomato broth, and the deservedly famous potatoes fried in schmaltz (so good we got a second order). I'd happily order every dish again. Due to the ever-changing menu (with a couple of apparently permanent fixtures), I suppose I won't have the chance. But the chef's work at Publican and now Boltwood is a solid track record of quality that I'm eager to sample again.
  • Post #50 - October 2nd, 2014, 7:33 am
    Post #50 - October 2nd, 2014, 7:33 am Post #50 - October 2nd, 2014, 7:33 am
    I'm glad some have had a less assaultive experience than others of us (and a number of others who aren't on LTH) had. Perhaps the work done in late August (according to the timeline in the Trib article) made a difference. Or some nights are more hearing-safe than others due to the random factor of who happens to have shown up, and it’s a matter of luck of the draw. Or some hear the same noise others do and don’t subjectively find it assaultive (even though a sound meter might measure identically). All are possible, and, in a hopeful frame of mind, I'll give extra weight to the first possibility. (Posts from other LTHers about excessive noise may be from experiences before end of August, as ours was.) In any case I don’t gainsay the reports of those who had a different experience than we did. Just as I know that those who found the sound acceptable don’t gainsay the reports of those who didn’t.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #51 - October 2nd, 2014, 8:23 am
    Post #51 - October 2nd, 2014, 8:23 am Post #51 - October 2nd, 2014, 8:23 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Here now. Noise not even remotely an issue. Can't wait to eat. Smells great in here.

    =R=


    Like all things sensory, "noisy" is subjective - I ride Metra daily and while I'm not bothered by the noise of idling locomotives there are numerous others who wince in pain and plug their ears as they pass by. If I were a restaurateur and even 20% of my customers complained about something as potentially experience-ruining as noise, I'd try to deal with it. It's not like they're demanding that recipes change, they just want a more inviting environment.
  • Post #52 - October 2nd, 2014, 8:24 am
    Post #52 - October 2nd, 2014, 8:24 am Post #52 - October 2nd, 2014, 8:24 am
    nsxtasy wrote:Incidentally, one thing about Boltwood worth mentioning is that the menu changes VERY frequently. We ate there on September 12 and almost everything we had (e.g. octopus, gnocchi, kale flatbread, pavlova, peach pie) is no longer on the September 25 menu on their website, while other dishes have taken their place. There's actually one dish (sweetbreads) that was on the website menu a few days before I went, not on the menu when I went, and is back on the menu now.


    Too bad, the octopus (and the mussels) were clearly standouts.
  • Post #53 - October 2nd, 2014, 9:37 am
    Post #53 - October 2nd, 2014, 9:37 am Post #53 - October 2nd, 2014, 9:37 am
    Haven't been since the alleged soundproofing, but it was undeniably loud on our several visits. Almost comically so -- everyone, regardless of age, commented on it. On the other hand, no hospitalizations were required and seemingly no permanent damage was sustained, not even PTSD.

    The food was quite good, with a few misses (the fish was overcooked, and for $36 made me wish I'd gotten Psistaria's for about half of that). But a lot of the other stuff made up for it; if you're lucky enough to be there when a terrine is offered, don't miss it. I also appreciate the focus on veggies and seasonality and am eager to go back.
  • Post #54 - October 2nd, 2014, 10:45 am
    Post #54 - October 2nd, 2014, 10:45 am Post #54 - October 2nd, 2014, 10:45 am
    spinynorman99 wrote:
    nsxtasy wrote:Incidentally, one thing about Boltwood worth mentioning is that the menu changes VERY frequently. We ate there on September 12 and almost everything we had (e.g. octopus, gnocchi, kale flatbread, pavlova, peach pie) is no longer on the September 25 menu on their website, while other dishes have taken their place. There's actually one dish (sweetbreads) that was on the website menu a few days before I went, not on the menu when I went, and is back on the menu now.


    Too bad, the octopus (and the mussels) were clearly standouts.

    Grilled Octopus -- with cannellini beans, broccoli and tapenade was on the menu last night and it was just one of several stellar dishes we had. Grilled Bruun-uusto, House Smoked Salmon Toast, Braised Lamb Neck, BBQ Spare Ribs, Crispy Potatoes and Grilled Cauliflower were all great, too. Really enjoyed the dozen oysters we had, as well, especially the Island Creeks. Cocktails were quite tasty and our server, Meredith, was sensational. And again, noise was not even remotely an issue.

    Great spot. I look forward to returning.

    =R=

    (possibly some pics soon)
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #55 - October 2nd, 2014, 11:01 am
    Post #55 - October 2nd, 2014, 11:01 am Post #55 - October 2nd, 2014, 11:01 am
    spinynorman99 wrote:Too bad, the octopus (and the mussels) were clearly standouts.

    I wasn't that impressed with the octopus. I love a really great octopus, when it's perfectly cooked and flavorful (e.g. at Anteprima). At Boltwood, it was not quite as tender as some other places, and the preparation was a bit too strong and slightly overwhelmed the octopus flavor. It wasn't bad - perhaps average among places I've had octopus - but I didn't feel it was a standout.

    OTOH I agree that the mussels were a standout dish. Also I think the mussels was the only dish from my dinner three weeks ago that was still on the website menu as of yesterday, so perhaps it is a dish that is usually available. EDIT - I just checked Boltwood's website, which now shows last night's menu, and the mussels dish is not there; instead, they have a chowder that has the bouchot mussels in it, but it's an entirely different preparation. So much for "perhaps it's usually available", LOL!
  • Post #56 - October 2nd, 2014, 12:07 pm
    Post #56 - October 2nd, 2014, 12:07 pm Post #56 - October 2nd, 2014, 12:07 pm
    The "random factor of who happens to have shown up" can definitely change the sound levels. I've been plenty of places where you have one shouty person in a group of 4 or 6 and suddenly the noise level gets crazy because everyone else around there has to speak up more to be heard. I'm sure you've been there: the noise level is reasonable and suddenly you hear the high-pitched bray and sharp piercing voice. It's not necessarily everyone at that table, it happens if you just have one person who is louder than the rest, and it changes the whole level of sound and tone in the room.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
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  • Post #57 - October 2nd, 2014, 12:20 pm
    Post #57 - October 2nd, 2014, 12:20 pm Post #57 - October 2nd, 2014, 12:20 pm
    leek wrote:The "random factor of who happens to have shown up" can definitely change the sound levels. I've been plenty of places where you have one shouty person in a group of 4 or 6 and suddenly the noise level gets crazy because everyone else around there has to speak up more to be heard. I'm sure you've been there: the noise level is reasonable and suddenly you hear the high-pitched bray and sharp piercing voice. It's not necessarily everyone at that table, it happens if you just have one person who is louder than the rest, and it changes the whole level of sound and tone in the room.

    Another way it often occurs is by a large group (say, 6 or more). I don't know whether it's because large groups need to shout to be heard from one end of the table to the other, or because they're celebrating and consume sufficient alcohol to inhibit their ability to realize that they're not using their "inside voices". Could be both.
  • Post #58 - October 2nd, 2014, 12:24 pm
    Post #58 - October 2nd, 2014, 12:24 pm Post #58 - October 2nd, 2014, 12:24 pm
    leek wrote:The "random factor of who happens to have shown up" can definitely change the sound levels. I've been plenty of places where you have one shouty person in a group of 4 or 6 and suddenly the noise level gets crazy because everyone else around there has to speak up more to be heard. I'm sure you've been there: the noise level is reasonable and suddenly you hear the high-pitched bray and sharp piercing voice. It's not necessarily everyone at that table, it happens if you just have one person who is louder than the rest, and it changes the whole level of sound and tone in the room.


    It was an issue of ambient noise level and lots of hard surfaces. Libertad suffers from it and the Israeli Taboun exacerbated the problem by installing a stone veneer wall. There are design elements that can mute sound and others that reflect and amplify it. This is not a case of isolated loud talkers.
  • Post #59 - October 2nd, 2014, 1:36 pm
    Post #59 - October 2nd, 2014, 1:36 pm Post #59 - October 2nd, 2014, 1:36 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    Great spot. I look forward to returning.

    =R=

    (possibly some pics soon)


    Though the noise was not a factor in the least, I would probably still endure a room of people screaming in my face if it meant the food would be on the same level that it was last night. The Publican has long been a favorite restaurant of mine, and it's great to know that Huston is able to fly on his own just as well.

    First impressions...this place is a lot smaller than I had anticipated, though they maximize the space well. Kitchen is beautiful and open, with nice views of Chef and co working the line.
    Image

    East & West Coast Oysters mignonette
    Image

    Castelvetrano Olives Momma Lil’s pickled peppers
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    Grilled Bruun-uusto + coppa mint, pears, balsamic
    Image
    One of the many standouts for me. The salty coppa, sweet pears, and brunkow made a perfect pairing.

    House Smoked Salmon Toast cherry tomatoes, marinated cucumbers, cream cheese
    Image
    For me, this was a little too salt-heavy.

    Grilled Cauliflower roasted red pepper, zaatar
    Image
    Another really great dish.

    Merguez Carrots avocado, sunflower seeds
    Image
    I think we all agreed that this may have been the one dud of the night. Carrots on their own had a really nice, caramelized texture, but the avocado pairing was not a pleasant taste.

    Boltwood Chowder bouchot mussels, clams, smoked sable, chow chow, leeks, potatoes, bacon
    Image

    Grilled Octopus cannellini beans, broccoli, tapenade
    Image

    BBQ Spare Ribs bread and butter pickles, mustard greens
    Image

    Braised Lamb Neck fresh polenta, swiss chard, golden raisins, corn-nuts
    Image

    Crispy Potatoes garlic schmaltz, special sauce
    Image
    We were told that this was something we had to get, and holy shit, I am glad we did. On the menu since day one, these potatoes had a great outer crunch, with a nice pillowy center.

    Finished with something sweet

    PB&J + Chocolate Cake peanut butter mousse, concord grape sorbet
    Image

    Apple Cinnamon Fritters salted caramel
    Image

    A really, really great meal. We were told that there are talks of opening for lunch in the future, which I will eagerly be waiting.
  • Post #60 - October 2nd, 2014, 2:24 pm
    Post #60 - October 2nd, 2014, 2:24 pm Post #60 - October 2nd, 2014, 2:24 pm
    incite wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    Great spot. I look forward to returning.

    =R=

    (possibly some pics soon)


    Though the noise was not a factor in the least, I would probably still endure a room of people screaming in my face if it meant the food would be on the same level that it was last night. The Publican has long been a favorite restaurant of mine, and it's great to know that Huston is able to fly on his own just as well.

    Nice shots. Thanks!

    I forgot about a few of those dishes -- loved the chowder and even though I'm not usually a big fan of sweets, I thought the apple fritters were terrific. Overall, the food reminded me, in the most glorious of ways, of Publican (under Huston). I haven't eaten much at Publican since he left there but for those feeling disappointed by the current incarnation, Boltwood may be just what you're looking for.

    As for the lack of excessive noise, I think they have taken some effective steps to mitigate the issue. The restaurant was full when we arrived and as I mentioned above, it just wasn't an issue. I was prepared for the worst but it never materialized. I guess we'll now be forced to actually discuss the food. :wink:

    The lunch news is definitely exciting, especially if you work nearby.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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