The main course of roasted veal medallions, stuffed ravioli and steamed vegetables might have been forgettable had I been able to see the food. Eating in the dark encouraged me to feel the texture of meat on my tongue. With every nibble, I measured the suppleness of the pasta, the fleshiness of the artichokes. Dining in darkness isn't for everyone, however. After Gilles and I were seated, a family of four (or was it five?) stumbled to a nearby table.
"I don't like this," cried the son, who sounded 9 or 10 years old.
"OK, OK," replied the father, before summoning a waiter and leaving the restaurant with his family. "We'll go for pizza."
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A feast for four senses
Dans le Noir
Paris, 51 Rue Quincampoix; 011-33-1-42-77-98-04, www.danslenoir.com
London, 30-31 Clerkenwell Green; 011-44-20-7253-1100
Moscow, 2/4 Oktiabrskaya St., 011-7-495-688-3396
Blindekuh (Blind Cow) www.blindekuh.ch
Zurich, Switzerland, 148 Muhlebachstrasse; 011-41-444-215-050
Basel, 192 Dornacherstrasse; 011-41-613-363-300
Unsicht-Bar (Invisible Bar) www.unsicht-bar.com
Berlin, 14 Gormannstrasse; 011-49-30-2434-2500
Hamburg, 36 Kleiner Schaferkamp; 011-49-40-4146-9330
Cologne, 5-7 Im Stavenhof; 011-49-22-1200-5910
Nocti Vagus, 36-38 Saarbrucker Strasse, Berlin; 011-49-30-7474-9123, www.noctivagus.com
O. Noir, 1631 Ste-Catherine St. West, Montreal; (514) 937-9727, www.onoir.com
Opaque (weekends), Hyatt West Hollywood, 8401 Sunset Blvd.; (800) 710-1270, www.opaqueevents.com. (Coming soon to San Francisco, San Diego and Las Vegas.)
Whale Inside, Room 1037, Building 10, Jianwai SOHO Western Building, Beijing; 011-8610-5869-4235.
At Dark Dining Projects (www.darkdiningprojects.com), sighted waiters serve customers who wear blackout "meditation masks."
Camaje Bistro (selected nights), 85 MacDougal St., New York, N.Y.; (212) 673-8184.