I am adventurous type and dining in a pitch black restaurant and being taken care of blind staff were quite an experience. While in Paris I made a reservation at Dans Le Noir for my brother's suprise birthday celebration. The reservation was at 8 p.m. but we decided to arrive half-an-hour early. When we arrived there were diners already lining up by the door. When we got inside the attendant checked us in and were instructed to place all of our belongings (purse, cell phones, cameras, umbrellas) in the locker and wait at the lobby. While waiting for our table we had a couple of drinks at the Bar (well-lit area) while eavesdropping to other patrons conversation about the place. Ten minutes later, the head waiter came in and explained to us what we were about to experience inside the dining area. She tells us that the servers are blind and we are going to dine in absolute total darkness. She then asked if we have any food restrictions and/or allergies that they should know about. Since this restaurant is known for their blind servers and surprise menu - it was kind of exciting not knowing what we are about to eat and it will only be revealed once diners are out of the dining area. Anyway, when our names were called the manager introduced us to our assigned waitress named “Radi.” Radi speaks both French and English. She was professional and nice. After exchanging pleasantries, she asked if we were ready to go inside. Then she instructed my brother to place his left hand on her shoulder, and I, placing my left hand on my brother’s. Then we started walking using each others shoulder as a guide towards the dining room. As we were walking Radi tells us in advance what was in front of us. When we finally arrived at our assigned table she pulled a chair on her left and asked me to sit. She then pulled another chair to her right for my brother. While seated, Radi explained to us that were on our table. She held my hand and guide me as to the location of my plate, fork, knife, and drinking glass. She did the same thing with my brother. She also tells us how to pour water on the glass by placing one finger on the lip of the glass, and once we feel the water hit our finger then it means the glass is almost full. Next, she explained the menus (a choice of 4 or 3 course menu) selection. While Radi was away getting our appetizer my brother and I started searching for the exact location of our cutleries. We also poured water in our glasses without any difficulties. While waiting for the food to arrive other diners kept coming in. Radi came back with the surprise appetizers. While we were eating my brother and I played food guessing game. Each time we take a bite we asked each other what were on our food plate (capers, tomatoes, eggplant and cheese with a slight vinaigrette). Fifteen (15) minutes later here comes Radi with three additional diners who joined our table and introduced to us. The two young couple were from Istanbul and their friend were from Paris. Ada sat next to me on the left and their friend sat next to my brother. As soon as they got settled, Ada were so lost about the whole idea and made so much commotions finding her own cutlery. She could not even find her drinking glass. At one point while trying to find her table napkin, she accidentally touched my boob! I was so shocked and screamed out of my lung – “hey you just touched my boob!" All of a sudden the whole dining room burst into laughter. After that episode it felt like everybody around the room loosened up and started having fun time with their own group.
While we were eating the group in our table played another guessing game. This time we tried guessing the age of each other through the sound of individual voice and also trying to figure out what were on your plate was fun games. This was also a unique opportunity to truly test your senses of taste and smell. However, I do realize that not everyone would be comfortable with this kind of expecially if you are claustrophic. As for the overall quality of food - It was average and overpriced but I still feel that it was money well spent. We left the premises satisfied and happy for the overall experience.
This experience that I certainly will NEVER forget.
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