After you’ve been married or in a relationship for a while, Valentine’s Day loses its luster. Maybe there’s a card or some small gesture involved, but going OUT? To dinner? Hard pass. But then I read about Dining in the Dark, offered locally at The Twisted Tail. Have you heard of it? Essentially, you and your date eat an entire meal blindfolded.
“Dark dining” dates back to 1999, when a blind clergyman named Jorge Spielmann threw a dinner party and blindfolded his guests to help them better understand the experience of blindness. His guests raved about the meal, claiming that the blindfold made their senses of taste and smell soar, which inspired Spielmann to open his own dark dining restaurant in Zurich, Switzerland.
At The Twisted Tail, guests are given a blindfold upon arrival and led to their table by a guide. (Still with me here?) The menu is a mystery, although you can specify vegan, seafood or meat. The entire experience lasts about 90 minutes. Bathroom breaks are allowed; phones are not.
Dark dining devotees claim that with eyes blindfolded—and phones silenced—other senses like smell, feel and sound are heightened, creating a more sensual, food-focused experience. Some even call the experience life changing. To be fair, there are challenges. For example, how do you know you’ve eaten every last bite? (The Twisted Tail’s advises patrons to “get creative,” whatever that means.) Also, using the restroom is a multi-step process that involves signaling a guide blindfolded. You can remove your blindfold once enter the restroom, but you must put it back on before you exit.
I must admit, I’m intrigued. Who’s in?