Dans Le Noir
This past Sunday, I went to Dans Le Noir. It is a restaurant where the waitstaff are all blind and you experience what they experience while you eat- complete darkness.
Located close to St Laurent metro, Dans Le Noir offers diners a very unique experience. When you first arrive, you are welcomed in a lobby where you put your coats away and put your purses/valuables in a locker. You are then look at the menu and give a waiter your order.
When they are ready, your name is called and this is when the real experience begins. You then meet your waiter. We had a gentleman named Ricardo who is very nice. She/he then leads you into the room. You have to hold onto their shoulder and listen to where he tells you to go. Since you can’t see at all, not only is this helpful, it is necessary. He seats you at your table, then tells you where your utensils are located.
Right away, you notice that you start to speak louder while you slowly adjust to the fact that you can’t even see your hand in front of you. The staff promptly brings you a drink (sangria made with white wine) and soon after, your appetizer. For the full menu, go here.
I chose to have the caprese salad and my companion ate the crab cake. It is so strange, how even though you may have had that meal numerous times, it now tastes different. My friend said his crab cake almost tasted like mashed potatoes.
Something to adjust to, is the fact that you can’t see your food, nor where you are cutting! You just hope that you are doing a decent job and not making a mess on the table, your lap or your face. It definitely adds a comedic tone to the whole thing.
For the main course, I had the Veal Scalopini and my friend had the filet mignon. They were both delicious and had a side of vegetables with potatoes. We decided to order a half a bottle of the house wine and it accompanied the meal very well.
We finished it off with dessert. I had the Chocolate Mousse (which I am still craving) and my friend had the Cheese Cake. By this time, I was greatly enjoying the experience. It is as though time and space do not exist. You almost feel like you, yourself did not exist anymore- it is surreal.
Once you are finished, you are led back into the light filled lobby to get your jacket and adjust to being able to see again. We had seen many people come out looking squinty eyed with food on their shirts but we had done alright!
Overall, it is an experience that I believe everyone should partake in. I’ve always had much respect for the blind but after this- it really sinks in how different living is for them and the respect increases. I loved the experience so much that I wish I could go all the time.
For those of you who think, “Just eat at home with all of the lights turned off..” it is NOT the same thing. Leave your house, away from all of your electronic devices, away from all of the noise created by the machines and disconnect. It really is an amazing experience. I could not stop staying it throughout the whole night- it really is just simply amazing.