October 18th, 2013
11:00 AM ET
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Silence is golden. To the patrons of Eat restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, it's more like $40.

That price tag will buy a four-course dinner served in complete silence. Chef Nicholas Nauman says the concept stems from time he spent in a Buddhist monastery.

He started the silent meals about a month ago with a prix-fixe menu in order to minimize verbal communication; the staff and kitchen also prepare and serve all the fare without speaking. On the logistical front, diners must indicate ahead of time if they will want the vegetarian option.

“We’ve developed good ways to communicate without speaking. We have a small kitchen, we know what we’re doing,” Nauman says.

Nauman hasn’t had to chastise any rule breakers yet, but he assumes anyone who succumbs to chatter would feel “a very palpable negative energy from the rest of the customers.”

The unconventional environment is causing a lot of noise. Nauman says reservations are increasingly difficult to secure.

Frank Lyon, a 31-year-old musician, attended the first silent meal at Eat.

“Language is a medium, and food is also a medium. When you eat and all you do is talk about the food, you forget about the food,” he says. “When you abandon the discussion, you experience the food more.”

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Filed under: Restaurants

soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Maybaby

    Going to this restaurant with my Autistic son and the rest of my dysfunctional family would be a challenge. We're never at a loss for words. We're yellers. I would enjoy eating in silence. It would be an interesting feat to accomplish. Bribery works well as a tool to redirect my son, who loves state quarters, eating out.

    April 7, 2014 at 3:24 am |
  2. Name*Ace

    Brooklyn, hipster nonsense.

    October 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
  3. ThaiQC

    No eating and talking. Just .........texting!!! hahaha
    That's a good place for young generation. cuz now they go to restaurant and don't talk to each other. They hold their smart-phone for the whole time.

    October 23, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  4. Mark L

    I never understood having to talk at the dinner table, then having your parents tell you not to talk with your mouth full. Make up your mind. Which one do you want? There is no way to do both at the same time. If you pause while eating then your food is getting cold or melting or congealing. Sit down, eat the meal, then retire somewhere more comfortable for coffee and conversation.

    October 22, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  5. Pete

    "Could you pass the salt"?...Oh, I mean " ".

    October 21, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
  6. catalina

    Its a great place for some married people who really never have anything much to say to each other anyway.

    October 20, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
  7. Kris

    Seems silly as I consider eating out to be a social event, but hey, it's their money.

    October 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  8. karey

    i think it would be strained and unnatural to eat in total silence. Lively conversation is half the fun of dining out.

    October 20, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Thomas

      But do the people sitting next to you feel the same way?

      October 21, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
  9. Mel Stricker

    This is ridiculous. The monks eat to live and enjoyment does not enter the picture. Most people eat to live and for enjoyment and part of that enjoyment is the art of conversation. If you are with someone you hate speaking with, it is probably time to ditch that person.

    October 20, 2013 at 9:10 am |
  10. JaniK

    I hate to listen to people chew and smack when they eat. I'd go crazy!!!

    October 19, 2013 at 1:08 am |
    • Shannon Becker

      Thank God somebody said it. Me too! To sit in absolute silence listening to that many people slurp, smack, chew, and scrape their silverware on dishes, that would be my nightmare.

      October 20, 2013 at 12:13 am |
  11. cali girl

    Hope that goes for the all annoying cell phones too.

    October 18, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • socali girl

      On vibrate. Strategically in the front pocket so you'll get excited when someone special sends you a text.

      October 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
  12. Ally

    I get that some would like this from the introspection standpoint. But I don't see myself ever wanting to try it. I grew up learning meals are where you share your day with those you love. I couldn't imagine having to not say anything while seated in a group.

    October 18, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • justme99

      I agree with Ally. When I was growing up, supper was a place to share our day with each other. My family sat down together every evening. I can't imagine not speaking at the table. No, not for me !

      October 19, 2013 at 7:12 am |
  13. Weeds

    A great place for a mime marriage proposal.

    October 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  14. Nuff Said


    October 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  15. Sisilly Mei

    I thought the ti tle said, "Please slice your diners."

    October 18, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  16. Truth™@Shhhh...


    October 18, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  17. RC


    October 18, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
  18. 1st!

    Har de har har har!

    October 18, 2013 at 11:23 am |
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