Patrons at Opaque
must be guided
to their seats.
Attention, thrill-seekers: The
European trend of blind dining has landed in the United States. At
Opaque Dining in the Dark (800-710-1270; www.darkdining.com), a weekly affair in the dining
room of California’s Hyatt West Hollywood, guests are seated in a
pitch-black space for a profoundly invisible dinner. After
selecting their entrees in the lobby, diners are escorted, conga
line-style, by a snapping waiter (for path-clearing purposes), into
the inky blackness. There they enjoy a nerve-racking initial
adjustment, a heightened sense of smell and taste, a liberatingly
clumsy tussle with their salads and, by evening’s end, a deep
reverence for the blind and visually impaired servers who
gracefully shuttle plates from kitchen to table.
At press time, other Opaque outposts were being planned for Las
Vegas, Orange County (Calif.) and San Diego.