Travel Blog

6 Sep

New Vancouver Restaurant Where You Eat in the Dark

This is what you’ll see when you dine at the newest addition to Vancouver’s  vibrant culinary scene.

A new restaurant is set to open where diners will experience their meals in a pitch-black setting, with no lights except the slightest glow from exit signs.  Called Dark Table, the 75-seat restaurant is set to open on West 4th Avenue in Kitsilano on Sept. 20, in the space formerly occupied by Quattro, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun.

There’s another twist, as well.  One-third of the staff will be legally blind.  Blind servers will escort guests to and from their tables, bring out food and wine and help with menu suggestions.

The restaurant is the third dining-in-the-dark venue for the owner, Moe Alameddine.  He opened his first in Montreal in 2006 and added another in Toronto in 2009.

The formula has proven surprisingly appealing to diners seeking new culinary thrills.  At Dark Table, patrons will choose meals outside on the patio, from a menu Alameddine describes as Mediterranean fusion.  Then, they’re led into the completely dark restaurant by visually impaired servers, who have memorized the layout of tables and chairs.

Photo credit: nestea.lee | Flickr

Meals are served and eaten in the dark, without any visual cues to distinguish between say, your grilled calamari and your rosemary-crusted chicken breast (Real adventurers can even choose the “surprise dish” from the menu, leaving them with no advanced idea what’s on their plate).  This replicates the experience of how the blind eat, heightening tastes, aromas and textures.

Should you need to get up during the meal, you place your trust in the servers, who guide you through the busy, pitch-black restaurant – offering a snapshot of what it would be like to be blind.

Dining-in-the-dark restaurants have taken off in cities like New York, London and Paris.  The concept originated in Zurich, Switzerland, where Jorge Spielmann, a blind man, began blindfolding guests to recreate the experience of eating as a blind person.

Would you be interested in dining in a completely dark restaurant? Let us know below.

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