In our modern culture where we are often overwhelmed by sensory stimulation, the focus on visual presentation is constantly increasing.
Now, how would you feel if you could not see and were living in total darkness?
Here were some of the questions my visit prompted: I still don't know the answers, but I'm glad I learned to ask these questions, even though, on the cuisine side, our mushroom side dish was so over-salted it was inedible.
(The Muslim chef —and, yes, the cooks are sighted — was observing Ramadan and so couldn't taste his own creations, so explained the hostess when we pointed it out.) If truth be told, I ended up eating a lot of bread that night, not because the rest of the meal was bad but because that was the non-challenging choice and I got there hungry.
Even cell phones and watches with lighted faces must all be left in lockers outside the dining room so you can experience as closely as possible what it would be like to be blind.
The restaurant opened in Paris in 2004, founded by Edouard de Broglie and Etienne Boisrond.
But Dans Le Noir is the first for-profit European company to try the experiment, starting in Paris, and the press materials refer proudly to France's heritage in research on behalf of the visually impaired such as, of course, the Braille written language invented by Frenchman Louis Braille.It became the first international chain of restaurant in the dark.The first permanent restaurant was Blindekuh (Blind man's buff in German), in Zurich, Switzerland.Coming to NYC for the first time, this West Coast edible experience was inspired by an "ingenious European concept", and's exactly what it sounds like: a five-course prix fixe dinner held in complete darkness, plunging you "into a world of sensitivity you have never experienced before", unless of course you've already been through menopause. Upon arrival you'll be shepherded into a fully lit reception room, where you can opt to peruse the classic and vegetarian menus that The Breslin's chef has prepared for the night, though to fully appreciate the experience they recommend you go into the dark without knowing what'll be served (spoiler: it's going to be your taste buds! Once ushered into the pitch-black dining room (which you'll never have the privilege of seeing in the light), you'll be expertly guided through your "journey of taste" by a highly trained team of legally blind and visually impaired servers, who no longer need to look for work.While it's a relatively short run, they plan on hosting four seatings each evening, and if things go well they might even tack on one more dark night, which, unlike the one at Six Flags, won't require you to wear man pumps.It was opened in september 1999 by a blind clergyman, Jorge Spielmann, who wished to convey the experience of blindness to sighted customers.