Dining in the Dark

Dining in the Dark is a new craze that is gaining popularity. This concept forces us to put all of our prejudices based on sight aside. The night is a sensory adventure! After about 20 or 30 minutes, I really noticed that my other senses were heightened.You will hear the wine being poured into a glass like never before... Also, I smelled everything. It's often considered "gauche" to smell your food, but You taste with your nose. If you don't smell food or wine, you're not getting the full flavor.

The first course was a seared scallop in curry, paired with a Napa Valley Chardonnay. The scallop was rather large, and not being able to see, I ended up with the entire scallop on my fork--and I ate the the entire scallop in one bite. I also had to use my sense of touch. Using your fingers can be helpful in finding the food on your plate!

The second course was seared polenta and a roasted tomato, with a Rose wine. The seared polenta was so delicious that I will be making polenta this weekend! The third course was duck, paired with a Rhone varietal from Avignon, France. I have actually been to Avignon and drank wine--and I'm not sure how but for some reason I thought this might have been a Rhone Valley red. I was really surprised when the sommelier told me that I was correct. I think I may have some wine intelligence after 5+ years of wine tasting! The last course was panna cotta, paired with a Canadian dessert wine. I had actually had this wine a couple of years prior and recognized it as a Canadian varietal.

Overall, this was a very enlightening experience. I felt like I appreciated the food so much more without being able to see it. I ate things that I would have otherwise avoided. The ambiance was very casual and relaxed. At one point, I was about to knock my entire plate of food on my lap, and someone working there prevented it.

The price was reasonable ($45). Several venues offer this experience under slightly different circumstances (pitch black rooms instead of blind folds). I thought the blind fold was ideal because I was able to shut my eyes and relax--instead of straining to see in total darkness. You can check out the place I went to last night at http://www.themustbar.com and look under the "events" tab. The staff was incredibly friendly. The sommelier was very knowledgeable, and the chef was passionate about his food. It was refreshing to have such an interactive experience with the chef and sommelier. Don't worry--I didn't spoil the menu for you because it changes for each tasting.