Dinner in the Dark

This blog is mainly for adventure and travel stories but last night’s “Dinner in the Dark” qualifies.

I had the unfortunate experience of being temporarily blind (in each eye separately and years apart) when my retinas decided to detach several years ago. With the help of an incredible surgeon I was fully patched up and after several other cataract surgeries can see pretty well and only wear glasses for distance or night driving.  Having gone through these issues I already know not to take my vision for granted, ever. That is what made last night’s experience really special.


My wife and I went to Dinner in the Dark, a dinning experience held in a small restaurant in the West Village where all guests are fully blindfolded throughout the two hour adventure. All guests gathered outside the restaurant by 7 PM. There were around 30 people in total. They called out our names and took us inside in groups of 4. We were asked to put on a very comfortable blindfold outside and hold the shoulder of the person in front of us as we were lead inside. It was still light out at the time but the blindfold was 100% effective.


It is amazing what the lack of vision does to your other senses. In the next two hours we definitely experienced a heightened sense of smell, touch and hearing. This started with the popping of a Champagne bottle.  Never has that sounded as crisp as it did. Waiters then walked up to our table and asked us to extend our hand as if were going to shake theirs and they placed the flute in our hand. The smell and taste was incredible. Trying to find each other’s glass to clink and toast was the 1st of many challenges for the evening.
Next we were told that a small basket was placed in front of us, to open it, and to do what we wish with it. Kind of strange we thought. I opened the basket and touched the contents. I told my wife that it was warm freshly baked bread. Turned out to be a warm towel for our hands. Embarrassing.
15 minutes into the event, it was very tempting to take off the blindfold just for a second to peak at what the surroundings looked like but I committed to keeping it on for the entire time. I will never again take for granted how easy it is to reach for my water glass or wine glass.
When the 1st course was served we were told it was in front of us. Next time you’re in a restaurant try closing your eyes and experience the smell and feel of a mixed green salad. It was very interesting. I don’t think it was anything super fancy but each leaf and tomato had a taste like never before.

Up to this point there wasn’t any clumsy behavior and we didn’t hear any glasses or dishes fall. But still it was a continuous heightening of all other senses. You can hear word for word most conversations around you. You can smell the waitress’ perfume and even holding hands with my wife in between courses felt like it was our first time ever.


Next up was a palate cleansing dish served in a miso soup spoon. You can hear everyone enjoying it and trying to guess what the flavor filled explosion they just ate was. We learned later it was grapefruit with something I don’t remember. Delicious.

You get to choose your main course when you make reservations and they accommodate most food restrictions. My wife and I asked to have fish. It smelled delicious but was very challenging to eat in the dark. I found myself trying to shovel the fish, potatoes and greens onto my fork with my knife and when that didn’t work had to resort to using my hand instead of the knife.  The wait staff must get a kick out of watching this. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one having difficulties. Yes, this dish too as well as the dessert was really good.

When it was all over we were told to take off our blindfolds. Adjusting to the light took a few minutes but the appreciation for anyone going through life blind will last forever.


We highly recommend this experience to everyone. The price is very reasonable. It was $200 for two people and that included wine pairing. This is their website : Dinner in the Dark. I’ve heard they have these in other locations and countries.