HTX Good Eats 2014
Sponsor
New Restaurant's Noise Trouble

New Houston restaurant tackles its "rock concert" level noise problem in a most artistic way

New Houston restaurant tackles its "rock concert" level noise problem

Bistro Menil sound clouds October 2014
"Clouds" at Bistro Menil absorb noise - in the most artist fashion, of course. Bistro Menil/Facebook

Leave it to The Menil Collection to address a problem in a most creative — and artistic — fashion.

Since Bistro Menil opened Oct. 1, diners and food critics alike stopping by for a bite have raved about chef Greg Martin's menu of housemade quiches, pizzas and flatbreads, along with his crab cakes with caper mayonnaise, roasted salmon in dill sauce, tenderloin with green peppercorn and yummy desserts. It would seem like it's a "thumb's up" for Bistro Menil.

But then there's the noise.

Bistro Menil customers have been walking away complaining about their ears ringing after eating at the new restaurant. In fact, the decibel rating ranked at "rock concert" level at one point, a spokesperson says.

Never fear, want-to-be patrons, the "Sound Clouds" are here.

 Bistro Menil customers have been walking away complaining about their ears ringing after eating at the new restaurant. 

Just this weekend, the bistro installed two "Clouds" designed by French artists/brothers Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec in the main dining room to help alleviate the volume problem. The clouds are actually divina, soft textile pieces similar to felt, held together with elastic bands to make free-standing or hanging structures. The installations then can serve as room dividers and or noise absorbers. The clouds at Bistro Menil represent an innovation in art and interior design — and decorative sound-proofing.

"We appreciate your patience with us as we’ve waited for sound-deadening elements to arrive," a post on the Bistro Menil Facebook page reads. "In the coming weeks, we’ll be adding additional elements as well."

Those elements include carpets in Vue, the main dining room, and Prive, the private dining space, as well as acoustical foam to sit in ceiling trays.

The goal is to make it so diners can relax and revel in their outings at Bistro Menil — and enjoy the clouds inside and out, as the restaurant is about ready to open its patio.