The borough of Brooklyn, New York, needs little introduction. A multicultural and diverse collection of neighbourhoods, it is home to the one and only Coney Island Amusement Park, the breath-of-fresh-air Prospect Park, and a special restaurant called Eat.
Eat is located in the Greenpoint neighbourhood of Brooklyn, home to Little Poland and is an area now considerably more urban than when it was first settled in 1645 by Norwegian Dirck Volckertsen with his orchards, crops, sheep, and cattle.
What has people buzzing about Eat is actually a lack of buzz – this already intimate restaurant is offering a silent dining experience.
The first silent dinner took place in September and was a test run for what was planned to be a monthly event, but what has proven so popular that it’s now held almost weekly. At the first silent dinner seventeen people said their last words and sat down at 8:04pm for a four-course dinner costing 40 U.S Dollars (USD). Punishment for breaking the silence was banishment to a bench outside to finish your meal. Exactly 90 minutes and 22 cleared throats after a hush first fell over Eat, the final bites of dessert were consumed and the silence was broken.
A silent dining experience doesn’t mean a solo dining experience, however. Some who came that night to enjoy their dinner in peace and quiet were in pairs and one group of three women were even celebrating a 30th birthday.
When asked why people are attracted to silent dinners at Eat, head chef Nicholas Nauman responded, “I think people come for many reasons: to enjoy dinner without the extreme noise levels of most restaurants, to engage the subtle agency inherent in any choice that gets clouded by language and abstraction and the usual theater of dining, to do something they think is trendy because they read about it on the internet, and to try our damn good food.”
Eat is already well-known in Brooklyn for strictly sourcing their organic produce from local farmers and producers. Their menu changes daily but the use of fresh, sustainable, and seasonal ingredients means that whether you’ve stopped in for lunch or dinner, it’s guaranteed to be good.
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