Tales From The Darkside
Last weekend I had a wonderfully unique opportunity to dine in the dark. And when I say dark, I mean dark, as in I was blindfolded. It was an interesting experience, if not a rather difficult one. More than once I picked up my fork and put nothing in my mouth, and I'm not even going to tell you the number of times I shoved a green bean into my eye. And because my fantastic tablemates were also blindfolded, I definitely threw social etiquette out the window, propped my elbows on the table and used my finger as a way to get my food on the fork.
The SF Dark Dining event took place at the Fort Mason Center and while the windows were blacked out, it wasn't really dark enough. So we took our dark napkins and tied them around our eyes and awaited our meal. The menu was rather ambitious for a place with no kitchen — the caterers had to prep everything before hand and finish it off in convection ovens — and it resulted in just so-so to not-so-good flavor. However, the experience was quite interesting as my sense of smell and taste were definitely heightened. Pine nuts suddenly became PINE NUTS and blue cheese was BLUE cheese.
While I wished they had paired down the meal options and went a much simpler route, it's something that I'm glad I did. The cost is currently $95 per person, and even though it's a three-course meal, I didn't feel that the food was worth the experience. However, this was their first time running the event, and they were definitely taking a lot of feed back and getting used to the "kitchen". I think the event can only get better, and if you do go, be sure to wear dark clothes (or a bib!).
To check out some pictures of the dark dining prep — I love the way the waitstaff look in night vision goggles — as well as a link to some video footage, read more
Check out TasteTv's video of the pre-dark set-up.
Note: the pics are from the check in process before the lights went out. Also, note how the tables are plain as there is no need for decorations.