Have you imagined yourself dining in the dark? sitting beside a stranger? eating the food you need to figure out what it is? drinking beverages you don't see? grope for the cutleries on your table? Then, have that strange feeling by visiting 'Dans Le Noir?' in Rue Quincampoix, Paris!
Over the 20 years or so, this great city has been criticised for it’s food. Hard to believe, right? Many experts believe that you can count the greatest food cuisines on one hand and French is definitely one of them. So where is all the criticism coming from? Well, the fact that the French think that their food is one of the best in the world, can be a curse as well as a blessing. Duck…. Again ? What started off as innovative and ground-breaking has become less dynamic and refuses to modernize. That doesn’t really matter if you’re only here for a weekend or a couple of days, but if you live in the city long term, it is possible that the novelty can wear off.
Luckily, I found a great place that is not only dynamic and ground-breaking but also like nothing you have ever experienced before. Oddly, it doesn’t really have very much to do with the food, which is average at best and ( as some people have recently posted on social media) perhaps a little over-priced. So what is it then? Well, it’s completely in pitch black.
What? Ok. Let me set the scene. The waiting staff are all blind and you pre-order your dish before you sit in to dine. You can only choose vegetarian, seafood, meat or surprise. So whatever comes on the plate, you will have to use your imagination and guess what is it. I was a bit of a chicken so I went for the vegetarian plate. Not because I am a vegetarian but because I didn’t know what kind of meat it would be or how it was cooked. I’m not food adventurous but I am an experience adventurous person (if that makes sense) and this pitch dark restaurants caters for both.
So you lock for your phone away and your watch and anything else that creates light and the waiter guides you in. The place could be any size and you are sitting next to someone you’ve never met and can’t see. At first it seemed the place was massive, but it took me about 10 minutes to realise I was sitting on a bench. Across the table was my friend but to my right (and later my left) were people I didn’t know. Socially amazing. Really good fun and a very unique experience. Probably not the best place to go for a first date because you can’t see your partner.
The name of the restaurant is Dans Le Noir on 51 Rue Quincampoix. It’s actually so popular that it has spread to London and Barcelona. But this place is the original.