Everything about food, from matching food and wine to recipes, techniques and trends.

Dining in the Dark

Moderators: Jenise, Robin Garr, David M. Bueker

User avatar
User

Bill Spohn

Rank

He put the 'bar' in 'barrister'

Posts

5100

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:31 pm

Location

Vancouver BC

Dining in the Dark

by Bill Spohn » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:28 pm

No, I don't mean eating in thick headed hebetation, I mean those dinners planned to be eaten in total darkness that began to be in vogue a few years ago. I even read of some where the waitstaff were blind (wouldn't make any difference to them, right?)

The idea is that when you have no visual clues you must rely on smell and taste alone when assessing and enjoying the food and wine (not to mention perhaps groping your neighbour while her husband sits in blissful ignorance on the other side?). Much like the idea of using black glasses to eliminate visual clues in a blind wine tasting (very embarrassing if you identify a white wine as a red varietal, I should think, but certainly a risk).

Has anyone participated in this sort of dinner? Aside from the obvious risk of knocking over glasses and having to feel your food out before impaling it (and hopefully only it) on your fork, the idea seems like it would be one of those things you might want to experience - once.

I'd be interested to hear from any participants.
User avatar
User

Dale Williams

Rank

Compassionate Connoisseur

Posts

8037

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:32 pm

Location

Dobbs Ferry, NY (NYC metro)

Re: Dining in the Dark

by Dale Williams » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:08 pm

After reading about these dinners, a friend suggested we do our own. Rather than attempt in total darkness, we modified to use blindfolds (so cook/waiters could circulate).
It was interesting, and a couple of times I didn't get totally obvious ingredients. But it's one of those things where in retrospect I wish I had concentrated more on enjoying and less on being most correct guesser.
I'll also say things that one spears with a fork are damn hard to eat blind (chunky stuff is ok, but things like salad greens are very difficult). And best to use stemless glasses (or do like I did and "finger crawl" till one reaches stem.


viewtopic.php?f=3&t=38051&p=316158&hilit=Spam+Cheezwhiz#p316158

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=38722&p=321027&hilit=alex+blind+hilary#p321027
User avatar
User

Bill Spohn

Rank

He put the 'bar' in 'barrister'

Posts

5100

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:31 pm

Location

Vancouver BC

Re: Dining in the Dark

by Bill Spohn » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:17 pm

Thanks - looks like you had a fun time.

I guess the only wine you wouldn't want to serve at this sort of 'blind' tasting would be Chapoutier, right?
User avatar
User

Dale Williams

Rank

Compassionate Connoisseur

Posts

8037

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:32 pm

Location

Dobbs Ferry, NY (NYC metro)

Re: Dining in the Dark

by Dale Williams » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:26 pm

well, luckily our "waitstaff" pours, so the Braille label wouldn't be a clue!
no avatar
User

Frank Deis

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

2112

Joined

Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:20 pm

Location

NJ

Re: Dining in the Dark

by Frank Deis » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:51 pm

I have been put into this situation involuntarily a few times, and didn't like it.

Our friends have a deck, which they love, and a nice all metal dining table and chairs that they can leave out there.

So in good weather they like to have supper outside. And when the sun goes down while we are still eating, they think their lighting is "too harsh" so we generally grope around in the dark. Under those circumstances it's simply annoying not to be able to find the food on your plate.

Another instance -- when we were in Granada we went to a nice fish restaurant in the old Arab part of town -- you can see the hills of that neighborhood from the walls of the Alhambra but it escapes me right now what it's called. The Albaicin, thanks Google! At any rate we chose an outdoor table and halfway through our (bony) fish it got dark, and once again the lighting was "romantic" enough that it was hard to tell the fish from the bones. Of course at neighboring tables there were little girls showing off their flamenco dance moves which was entertaining and pleasantly distracting. But the eating in the dark part just sorta sucked.

What was worse -- we had walked there, and had assumed we could get a cab back to our hotel downtown (just under the Alhambra), but no cabs, no buses, nothing. So we had to walk back through the twisty streets at a rather late hour. Guide books suggest not doing that, since there have been muggings etc. but we were lucky.
no avatar
User

Karen/NoCA

Rank

Hunter/Gatherer

Posts

5264

Joined

Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:55 pm

Re: Dining in the Dark

by Karen/NoCA » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:06 pm

No, and nor would I want to. Gene and I went to Monterey CA once to visit a friends castle. We knew he would not be there but had free reign to enjoy the castle, walk around, etc. A bad storm had gone through the property recently, the pool was drained and damaged, trees were still down and some windows were broken. Naturally, the first thing I wanted to see was the kitchen, Gene said he was heading for the huge garage.
While there, he saw the main circuit breakers and thought it would be fun to turn off all the lights. So he did. The house was totally black, mainly because the windows had very heavy drapes and they were all pulled. I was terrified. I kept calling to him, no answer and finally just sat down and waited. I could not see a speck of anything. We had only been married one month and at that point I carefully considered my decision. In June it will be 50 years for us, and I can tell you he never pulled anything like that again. I never want to be in total darkness again. I carry a purse size flashlight with me always, plus two small back up lights on my key chain. Our home has night lights all over, and if the power goes out, they all have a small battery backup, and can also be used for flashlights.
It happened again on Orcas Island, a part of the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest. The entire island lost power, we were in our room in an old hotel. My trusty flashlight kept me comfortable until I finally fell asleep, because no one was really worried about it until morning.
User avatar
User

Fred Sipe

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

417

Joined

Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:34 pm

Location

Sunless Rust-Belt NE Ohio

Re: Dining in the Dark

by Fred Sipe » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:39 pm

Never could really understand the appeal. Other than as an empathetic exercise to try to understand what the blind experience and learn to deal with, why would anyone even want to?

Doesn't even sound like an adventurous good time. Thank the Lord I DON'T have to deal with that!

Especially if the food were really GOOD food.
no avatar
User

Jeff Grossman/NYC

Rank

That 'pumpkin' guy

Posts

2924

Joined

Sat Mar 25, 2006 8:56 am

Location

NYC

Re: Dining in the Dark

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:39 am

I see the appeal but I see no need to actually do it. :lol:
User avatar
User

Ian Sutton

Rank

Spanna in the works

Posts

3652

Joined

Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:10 pm

Location

Norwich, UK

Re: Dining in the Dark

by Ian Sutton » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:40 pm

Some friends went to one of those restaurants in Frankfurt. Their view was that it was an interesting experience, but the quality of the food and the overall dining experience was pretty average.
Drink coffee, do stupid things faster
no avatar
User

Jenise

Rank

FLDG Dishwasher

Posts

26965

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm

Location

The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: Dining in the Dark

by Jenise » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:16 pm

No desire. Wouldn't turn down the experience if an adventurous host offered, but I wouldn't enjoy not being able to see what I was eating before I took that first bite.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
User avatar
User

Mike Filigenzi

Rank

Known for his fashionable hair

Posts

7203

Joined

Mon Mar 20, 2006 5:43 pm

Location

Sacramento, CA

Re: Dining in the Dark

by Mike Filigenzi » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:11 am

This sort of thing sounds like fun to me, but I think you'd need a menu that was put together with the darkness in mind.
"People who love to eat are always the best people"

- Julia Child

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 5 guests

Powered by phpBB ® | phpBB3 Style by KomiDesign