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A good place for a blind date
March 17, 2006 9:28 AM   Subscribe

At Dans Le Noir ? you can "experience the unique interaction between clientele and guides as your food and wine are served in total darkness". Is it really a pitch-black dining room? "Yes it is ! The room where the dinner takes place is completely dark! We aren't used to completely dark environment since you hardly find this level of darkness in daily life as, we are used to small rays of light from the streetlights or moonlight but in the Dans le Noir ? restaurant there is no light at all!" Worried about going to the loo? Don't be, because "the toilets are fully lit".
posted by mr_crash_davis (52 comments total)

 
first let me say , nice post crash.

then let me also say, this is the dumbest thing i have ever heard of.
posted by nola at 9:34 AM on March 17, 2006


after reading this , i'm thinking of opening a restaurant where the gimmick is, we starve the guests for a week before giving them their food.
posted by nola at 9:36 AM on March 17, 2006


Blind date, how about an ugly date.
posted by Meaney at 9:38 AM on March 17, 2006


Sounds like an interesting experience! You'd get to focus on the taste, aroma and texture of the food, I bet.

I'd try it once (if it weren't too expensive).
posted by darkstar at 9:42 AM on March 17, 2006


if it weren't too expensive

Anything this gimmicky has to be wicked expensive (see also: that twat who invented the atomized shrimp cocktail).
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:45 AM on March 17, 2006


....plus the feeling of food squshing between your fingers, dripping down your face, and dropping into your lap.
posted by breath at 9:45 AM on March 17, 2006


"It's twoo, it's twoo!"
posted by S.C. at 9:45 AM on March 17, 2006


But do they have ninjas?
posted by bardic at 9:48 AM on March 17, 2006


This sounds like the perfect place to create a little mayhem. Do the waiters us IR goggles?
posted by IronLizard at 9:49 AM on March 17, 2006


see, I guess how mind my works is a little different. I keep thinking it's a great place to have sex during dinner in a public place.
posted by shmegegge at 9:49 AM on March 17, 2006


Is the dark room monitored by CCTV cameras?

Yes, we do film the room with infrared cameras and keep records to ensure visitors' welfare and safety. Please be assured that we only watch the records in case of an incident or on customer request.


Damn.
posted by IronLizard at 9:51 AM on March 17, 2006


Hadn't this already been done with Berlin's Dunkel Restaurant? Or has the French one been there a while?
posted by biffa at 9:52 AM on March 17, 2006


More evidence the French have too much time on their hands.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:53 AM on March 17, 2006


The waiters are all blind! Who on earth comes up with this crap?
posted by zeoslap at 9:53 AM on March 17, 2006


In the dark
It's just you and I
Not a sound
Ther's not one sigh
Just the beet of my poor heart
In the dark

Now, in the dark, in the dark
I get such a thrill
When he presses his fingertips
Upon my lips
And he begs me to plase keep still
In the dark

But soon
This dance will be endin'
And you're gonna be missed
Gee, I'm not pretendin'
'Cause I swear it's fun
Fun to be kissed

In the dark
Now we will find
What the rest
Have left behind
Just let them dance
We're gonna find romance
Lord, in the dark

posted by shmegegge at 9:53 AM on March 17, 2006


It's in London... not France.
posted by zeoslap at 9:53 AM on March 17, 2006


shmegegge, hand-jobs are available as either an apertif or a dessert.
posted by bardic at 9:55 AM on March 17, 2006


It's in London... not France.

There's two.
posted by IronLizard at 9:56 AM on March 17, 2006


There's one in London and one in Paris, I guess.
posted by darkstar at 9:57 AM on March 17, 2006


Do they serve cold spaghetti and then make you put your hand in it and say its some dead kid's guts? Oooo! Spooky!

I like the fact that the waiters are all blind, though. That's actually very, very cool. I guess the drinks all come from the (lit) bar, as having a blind bartender would...well, I can't say that it can't be done, but it'd be a heck of a lot tougher than being a blind waiter. I mean, set one bottle down in the wrong place and you'd get some interestingly-flavored cocktails.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:59 AM on March 17, 2006


Having eaten during a power blackout, and can say that putting food in my mouth without at least a cursory visual inspection does not interest me in the least.
posted by 2sheets at 10:05 AM on March 17, 2006


Pictures?
posted by empath at 10:09 AM on March 17, 2006


Heh heh, they should have a gallery of completely black images, with different captions. That would be funny.
posted by breath at 10:14 AM on March 17, 2006


I think it would be enormously frustrating to go there. This seems to me to be a place maybe you'd go to only once. I wonder how they do on repeat business?
posted by Lockjaw at 10:16 AM on March 17, 2006


That’d be a nice swinger’s club.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:18 AM on March 17, 2006


In the dark
It's just you and I
Not a sound
Ther's not one sigh
Just the beet rhubarb of my poor heart
In the dark

posted by stirfry at 10:23 AM on March 17, 2006


On one hand, the customer in me thinks this is dumb. On the other, the former restaurant manager in me is thinking "Sweet! You'd never have to vacuum/polish glasses in there!".
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:28 AM on March 17, 2006


Do the waiters us IR goggles?

The waiters are blind. I have to admit my first reaction was like much of the above - what a silly gimmick. But it's kind of grown on me - the reversal with the blind, the focus on other senses - it's an interesting idea. Minor details of execution would make the boundary between "ridiculous gimmick" and "sublime experience" very narrow and fractal.

It also seems like the kind of place that could be great the first few months, then decay.
posted by freebird at 10:43 AM on March 17, 2006


Yes, but is the food any good?
posted by mpk at 10:50 AM on March 17, 2006


I think if you had a blind friend, SO, or family member, this would be an awesome shared experience. To walk a 1/10 of a mile in their shoes for one dinner. That said, for everyone else, I think this is the absolutely most ridiculous idea for a "dining" gimmick evar.

Having eaten during a power blackout, and can say that putting food in my mouth without at least a cursory visual inspection does not interest me in the least.

And, 2sheets, I completely agree with you. There's something that goes against every survival instinct in one's body to comsume that which you cannot see.
posted by Debaser626 at 10:51 AM on March 17, 2006


Now that's a brilliant idea
posted by elpapacito at 10:53 AM on March 17, 2006


Well, what the hell, I'll bite. It's not expensive - the priciest menu they have is 37 euros. I just called to make a reservation and left a message. If they return my call in time, can take me for tomorrow night, and can accomodate a vegetarian, I'm there, and I'll report back here on how it was.
posted by hazyjane at 11:00 AM on March 17, 2006


I'll have the chef's surprise.
posted by whir at 11:01 AM on March 17, 2006


hazyjane, please do!
posted by darkstar at 11:05 AM on March 17, 2006


Stupid.
posted by Ynoxas at 11:43 AM on March 17, 2006


Halfway through, they turn on the lights and yell "Surprise!" -- and it turns out you're eating poo.

I hang out with my kids too much
posted by davejay at 11:50 AM on March 17, 2006


I read about something like that, billed as a "sensual experiance" happening in NYC in Salon once.
posted by delmoi at 12:07 PM on March 17, 2006


How about a restaurant where they serve you only pudding cups and apple slices and the servers all have Down's Syndrome?

Makes about as much sense...
posted by BobFrapples at 12:13 PM on March 17, 2006



How about a restaurant where they serve you only pudding cups and apple slices and the servers all have Down's Syndrome?

Makes about as much sense...


/wipes soda from screen

HA!

They could call it Dee Dee-Dees
posted by Debaser626 at 12:18 PM on March 17, 2006


How do we get the attention of our guide?
You will call out their name.
I'd go if I could be assured of having a waiter named Marco.
Marco! ... Polo! Marco! ... Polo!
posted by spacewrench at 12:38 PM on March 17, 2006


great title, mr_crash_davis. Every once and a while it's fun and very stimulating to try to navigate your world sans vision. I've tested how handicapped-accessible different pedestrian environments are while wearing a blindfold. (with the assistance of sighted individuals, of course!) The experience was intense. It's one thing to walk around as a blindfolded individual in a role playing exercise, but something completely different to share a meal with others who are in the same boat. If such a restaurant were nearby I'd try it out in a flash.
posted by tidecat at 1:02 PM on March 17, 2006


A sexy review of one of these events.
posted by tizzie at 1:02 PM on March 17, 2006


tidecat, I've tried that. It makes for a very bizarre experience. A few years back, I wore a blindfold to bed so I could wake up and start my day without sight.

Taking a shower, getting dressed, fixing breakfast was all a freaky experience. I hadn't planned what I'd do afterward, so I sat listening to the radio for a while until I realized there was just about nothing else of my regular saturday routine I could do without my vision (no reading, no watching tv, no driving anywhere, no cleaning).

I was able to run a load of clothes, because I already knew what colors and fabrics my clothes were, by touch. After that, though, I was pretty much stymied for useful things I could do without either risking ruining something or getting myself hurt (I didn't cook anything for breakfast, for example).

After 3 hours of this, I ended the experiment, realizing I'd be useless blind, until I made it through a pretty steep learning curve.
posted by darkstar at 1:52 PM on March 17, 2006


Going through my regular Web haunts, I was amazed to see this crop up on one of my most admired, and least updated, sites Michael Kelly's Page Of Misery.
posted by Keefa at 3:34 PM on March 17, 2006


I must be one of the only people who thinks this would be pretty cool.
posted by Bugbread at 3:45 PM on March 17, 2006


I did this last Halloween. There was a bistro in the west village that did a dark dinner - diners were given these really efficient blindfolds and led into the restaurant. The food was regular upscale bistro fare, very good actually, and they offered us aural treats between courses - a tapdancer, a recording of a thunderstorm, a reading, etc. It was completely fascinating. How you interact with dining companions when you can't see them (why was I still pointing?), how you react to food's tastes and textures (I couldn't for the life of me figure out what I was eating when served a cold shrimp app) - so much is dependent on sight. I have to say, it sounds goofy but it was really cool.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:24 PM on March 17, 2006


I called again and they're fully booked for tonight. I should be going in a week or so though - just need to coordinate with friends and call back to book a date further in advance. If anyone wants to read about the experience, email me and I'll write you back with a description of how it went.
posted by hazyjane at 7:38 AM on March 18, 2006


I could have sworn there was someplace in Manhatten that was similiar. And of course, there's Candellas, which is only lit by candles. But there's still plenty of light to see what you're eating, and ordering, and whatnot.

The concept of blind waiters is brilliant though. I love that. Were I in London, I would go and try it, I think it would be a fascinating experience. HazyJane, I'd love to hear a report. :)
posted by dejah420 at 5:39 PM on March 18, 2006


Manhattan, that is. Dur.
posted by dejah420 at 5:40 PM on March 18, 2006


Is there a photograph?
posted by dd42 at 9:04 PM on March 18, 2006


Ok, I finally went. It was really interesting. I figured it would be a bit silly, kind of fun, but that I wouldn't learn much. In fact, it was really interesting from a communication standpoint to have dinner with someone with no body language and no visual distractions to take away from the conversation and the food.

Please excuse the self link, but here's my blog post: Dans le Noir
posted by hazyjane at 1:25 AM on April 2, 2006


And what about safety? Evacuation in case of fire?? (Kinda hard to see the exits!) For that reason alone, I can't imagine Americans giving a pitch-dark restaurant the green light (as it were...)

Sounds cool, though!
posted by Misciel at 7:53 PM on April 7, 2006


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