Going out to eat with friends can be a relaxing, enjoyable experience that draws people closer together and gives us an opportunity to really focus on those who are close to us. Whether it’s a family get-together for a special occasion, a work dinner, or a quiet night alone with a significant other, it’s important to make a connection.
When hearing is impaired, connections can also be difficult because communicating is not as easy as it used to be. Hearing and understanding others is crucial in these times of connection.
Our hearing aids do wonders, but they can only help us so much when there is an excessive amount of background noise and other distractions. How can you choose a good restaurant that will give you the best opportunity to connect with your dinner companions?
Here are a few tips for finding a quiet, distraction-free restaurant, and a few suggestions for the South Bay Area:
- Google or Yelp! It. Restaurants can be categorized by the level of noise, so doing a quick search and scanning the reviews can give you a great idea of the environment before you arrive.
- Choose intimate spaces. Smaller dining areas help to foster closeness with your dinner companions and don’t allow for a lot of noise, unlike large, warehouse-like spaces.
- Choose a dining room with carpet and drapes. Textiles help to absorb and mute sound, unlike hard floors and open floor plans, which tend to echo sound back and forth.
- Choose a nicer restaurant. Restaurants with high star ratings (and higher price tags) tend to be more formal, and will also be quieter. People go to these restaurants for a romantic meal or a small family dining experience. There will probably be fewer people in the dining area, and they won’t be making a lot of noise either.
- Avoid sports bars and pubs. Places with bars, TV’s and a sports theme, not to mention pool tables or other games, foster a very noisy environment. These are usually less expensive places as well. Some nicer restaurants have a bar, but it is usually separate from the main dining room, and tends to be quieter overall.
- Ask around. Find recommendations of nice, quiet restaurants from friends and family. After all, word-of-mouth is the best advertisement! If your loved ones enjoyed a restaurant, chances are you will like it as well.
South Bay Area Restaurant Suggestions for a Quiet Evening Out:
Le Papillon 410 West Saratoga Ave, San Jose (408) 296-3730
Le Papillon is a nice, quiet french restaurant with fine dining and an elegant atmosphere. The food is as beautiful as it is delicious. Save this gem for a special occasion.
Yeung Shing Chinese Restaurant 14107 Winchester Blvd Ste S Los Gatos (408) 370-2032
If you are in the mood for Chinese, Yeung Shing is your place. With elegant decor, delicious Chinese food, and a slightly higher price tag, it’s a great place to enjoy an upscale Chinese meal and have good conversation with friends.
The Wine Cellar is an upscale wine bar with great appetizers to share and meals that taste great. It has a warm, intimate setting that allows for conversation and closeness. The wine selection is really great!
Siena Bistro (Willow Glen) 1100 Lincoln Ave, San Jose (408) 645-5571
For delicious, authentic Italian and Mediterranean Food, Siena Bistro does not fail to impress. The intimate atmosphere and lovely decor add to the experience, and the food is fabulous! They usually require reservations on the weekends, so call ahead to be sure.
Sweet Mango (Willow Glen) 1040 Willow St, San Jose (408) 293-2268
Another Willow Glen gem, this restaurant features Thai, Burmese and Chinese food, and it’s perfect when you have a taste for delicious exotic food at a reasonable price.
Bistro Tupaz (Blossom Valley) 5899 Santa Teresa Blvd, San Jose (408) 578-5860
When you want to go a little more casual, this fun, modern European bakery boasts great food with decent prices in a calm atmosphere. They have great pasta and other Italian dishes as well as a wide variety of desserts and baked goods, both for eat-in and to-go.
Elements Restaurant (Almaden Valley) 6944 Almaden Expy, San Jose (408) 927-8773
For a French-Vietnamese fusion experience, Elements is a fun, quiet, reasonably-priced establishment that has good atmosphere and delicious food. It is a fun treat for friends from out of town or just a quiet dinner with co-workers.
Black Angus Steakhouse (Blossom Valley) 1011 Blossom Hill Rd, San Jose (408) 266-6602
If you like steak, this is the place for you! With a quiet, intimate dining environment and great steaks every time, Black Angus is a great choice for family get-togethers or a casual meeting of friends. Best to go outside of peak times on the weekends, as it can get busy!
A great local place with American home-cooking, Effie’s is a fun favorite and was recommended by some of our patients as a great spot for good food with a nice, quieter atmosphere.
Los Gatos Audiology is here to help you protect your hearing and your health. Call today and come in for your yearly hearing exam so you can stay ahead of the curve and protect your hearing, your brain and your health.
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