While many restaurants rely on visual presentation as one of their biggest selling points – a well thought out theme evident in the interior design and the food styling – Dans le Noir? chooses to skip this bit and instead serves food in pitch dark rooms. Their aim? To appeal to the other senses for a very different, often wonderful and enlightening, sensory, and social dining experience.
Dans le Noir?, a French phrase which means “in the dark?”, is a chain of restaurants which opened its first branch in France near famous landmarks such as the Museum of Art, the Notre Dame, and the Louvre.
In a press release, the founder Edouard de Broglie said, “It [Dans le Noir?] is a place to open your mind and question yourself on taste, but also on your relationships with other people. It is a rich experience with many outcomes.”
A lot of people find the concept strange and disconcerting. After all, how can one eat in total darkness? That is why diners are guided by visually impaired staff and strict rules are observed in the dark room, for safety reasons and so that diners can be more at ease.
However, part of the excitement of dining at Dans le Noir? is that you just don’t know what you are going to get. Although you can inform the staff of any allergies and dietary restrictions, the only input you have into your meal is in selecting a food category. Diners choose a category of choice: green for vegetarian, blue for fish and seafood, red for meat, and white if you are up for an ultimate surprise. Guessing while you eat is encouraged and you’ll know if you’re spot on during the “big reveal” at the end of your meal.
Currently, the chain has several other branches across Europe including Barcelona, London, and St. Petersburg. All of them are conveniently located near main tourist attractions.
So do you think you are adventurous enough to step into a world where your eyesight is suppressed for a few hours?