Thursday 3 March 2011

Dining in Darkness - Dinner at O.Noir

"It's a sensual dining experience like no other!" says O.NOIR owner and founder Moe Alameddine... "When you eat food in the dark, your remaining senses are heightened to savour the smell and taste of food. Even simple, everyday dishes like potatoes and yogurt take on a culinary flare."

Today was Teena's sister Sarah's birthday so Teena made reservations at O.Noir restaurant.

"O.NOIR does more than just fire the imagination and stimulate the senses. After a few hours in complete darkness (that's right, no flashlights, matches, cell phones, cigarette lighters or luminous watches), customers gain a better understanding of what it's like to be blind
- just like the restaurant's entire wait staff."

What an interesting and fun experience. A total supper service in the dark where when you close your eyes and open them again, there is no difference.

As if this was not enough, we did not tell Sarah what was going on. We went in and had a drink at the bar and asked the bartender not to give away anything to her. This is the time that you select your meal from the menu. When it was time for Tracy, our server (she was so awesome), to lead us in, and asked Sarah to hold her left shoulder with her left hand and us to do the the same, I knew she was confused.

Then we were lead through the door into total darkness. Everything after is hard to explain.

We were guided into our seats and explained where everything was in front of us. I was very conscious of where I set my wine. Then came the first course.

I had Grilled Portobello Mushroom with Parmigiano shavings and balsamic vinegar. Interesting that for my first taste when that I thought I had a nice mushroom, instead it was the greens. Next bite, thinking again I had a mushroom, instead it was a nice, tasty shaving of parmigiano. My main course of Five Spice Filet mignon served with Potatoes did not fare better. I thought I had potato and it would be steak.

It does not take long to realize that it was about eating and enjoying what was on your fork, or, in some cases, from your fingers. Time just to eat and enjoy each taste.

Easy to do too as the food is all very good. Tracy was excellent too making sure we were well looked after in bringing meals, clearing plates and making sure we were never in need of drinks. Yes, we had wine in the pitch black.

In the end, I had evidence of just one slop on my pants. I also found when each course was cleared that there was some spillage. Tasty spillage. Thinking my steak was done (it is conveniently cut into small pieces), it was nice to discover when my plate was taken away that one last piece of steak remained in front of me. Yes, discovered by touch ... and still tasty.

It was a great night and a fabulous experience. The food, service and experience was excellent.

I would recommend this this to anyone, and would recommend going during the week like we did, when it is quieter and you are better able to enjoy the experience.

Here we are seated at our table. Tracy, our server is on the left.I took this shot of our meals


Angie in T.O. said...

Awesome! I want to do this!

LeeAnn said...

Steak LOOKS fabulous!

Sara said...

Great review. O.Noir is now added to my list of restaurants to experience.

Teena in Toronto said...

It was a fun interesting time!