Dark Room Without A View, A Restaurant Review
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Dark Room Without A View, A Restaurant Review

Well this is all new,

And I'm feeling my way through the dark

KT Tunstall, “Through the Dark”

Mix it up night was long overdue at our house. We parked the kid with friends for dinner, drove over two bridges and braved traffic to have a blind date. We have known each other for twelve years.

We had reservations for the six o’clock seating at Dark Table, Vancouver’s trendy “dark dining” experience. This is Moe Alemeddine’s latest addition to his dark dining portfolio which also includes Montreal and Toronto. I guess we are in good company as the chic concept is already in the rear view mirror for L.A., London, New York, and Paris.

We were greeted outside the front of the restaurant and ushered to a covered patio area with a heat lamp to peruse the menu before surrendering to a visually impaired server. The menu was simple as the appetizer and dessert was already decided for you as “Surprises of the day”. The indecisive crowd need only soldier through six entree choices, one of which is, you guessed it, “Surprise dish”. The wine and liquor menu is simple, but frankly not having any more glass on the table than necessary suited me just fine. Opting for a simple glass of white for my seafood dish and lord knows what else was in store for us in the form of surprises, Mix It Up Night was underway.

Conceptually I thought dining in the dark would be interesting. But as we were instructed to form a conga line with our server, both hands on his shoulders as he led us into his world, the only world he has known since was seven years old, I felt the anxiety bubble up like a lava lamp. A dark, dark lava lamp. My husband behind me offered little comfort as I felt the same regret I have felt the only two times in my life I have entered a sex paraphernalia shop. What am I doing here? But I go in any way. We were escorted to our table after a slight left veer inside the pitch dining room. I was instructed to drape my coat over the back of my chair before sitting down. Word to the wise: pat the seat with your hands first. I narrowly missed sitting on the wrong side of the seat back and providing comic relief when none was needed.

My husband was sadistically enjoying my acute chagrin. It took me a few minutes to acclimate to this bizarre situation. I was desperately expecting my eyes to adjust but the moment did not come. Having committed this far, I talked out my anxiety, punctuated with nervous laughter, and settled down once our server returned with what we could only trust, was bread. He told us the butter was in the middle of the plates in front of us. Sure it was. Not hungry for bread but curious to see how our hand eye coordination would fare without the latter, we groped for our knives, peeled back the cafeteria style butter tubs and tried to butter our invisible bread. The ratio of bread to butter was wildly skewed but, a devout butter addict, the oily dairy was a welcome familiarity to one of my only remaining senses.

Having pre-ordered outside, if was full on surrender time. Our drinks came and I have to admit wine tastes great dans l'obscurité. Our appetizer salad arrived shortly after and our server helped us by placing our forks into our hands. We took our first random pokes at the salads and I had to abandon my normally methodical approach to skewering greens and expertly pairing them with whatever other tidbits were in the salad to create the perfect bite. Aaaah. The perfect bite. There would be none of those tonight. I would not normally have impaled a tomato with a grapefruit wedge, but tonight belonged to the wild dogs of reckless abandon. Damn the torpedoes, whatever lands in my mouth will be greeted with the same unbridled enthusiasm I would have for offering a ride to a stranded Ryan Gosling. Undeterred, I go in for the second bite. Something green this time, and was that a pecan or a walnut? Nuts are hard to nail down in the dark. A few bites later, I can only assume we both finished our salads since the sounds of our forks tinkling fruitlessly around our bowls ceased to yield pay dirt.

Our conversation, once over the initial novelty of the sensory deprivation, evolved into some surreal phone call that might have been happening during a power outage. The disembodied dialogue, and probably the buzz from the alcohol, spurred the analogy that we were spirits, less aware of our physical presence, and hyper-focused on each others’ words. Peripheral white noise of other diners/spirits just an arm’s length away from us may as well have been in another dimension. There, but not there, it was like being a ghostly guest at a celestial dinner party.

I had to pee. When our server floated by next, I asked for the twp person conga line to the restroom. I placed my hands on his shoulders and shuffled behind him like an octogenarian on their way to a bingo marathon. He pointed me to a door framed in slivers of dim, amber light. I pushed my way into a terra cotta hued room with mood lighting. A little Barry White and I may not have returned for a while. I made my way to the lavatory and Christmas came early. I had not been to a restaurant with a biffy dashboard in a long time and this was unexpected. The sensory deprivation that was going on in the dining room was overcompensated for in this little room.

The seat was warm as I layered my cushion of tissue. The light was very dim so the buttons on the control pad to the right were little circles of mystery. It was like Las Vegas for your undercarriage. I lost. I must have pressed the turbo button and it must have been on overtime. I could not stop it and dared not stand up for fear of involuntarily laundering the backs of my pants. Too late – left calf soaked. I think the giggling must have stopped somewhere between me standing up and my server calling my name from through two doors. I was unsure whether he was there to usher me back to the table or whether my panicked laughter was causing concern to the diners. In any case, not enough time had elapsed to finish and I felt like I had to hurriedly wash my hands before returning via private conga line to my heavenly dinner party. Mix It Up Night was in full swing.

Entrees arrived and they got my order wrong, but after a short conversation with our server, it was quickly set right. My peppered garlic prawns with citrus risotto and seasonal vegetables were bit difficult to navigate as, again, I despaired that the perfect bite consisting of one half of a prawn and dollop of risotto was not in the cards. But I reminded my spirit self that we were there to experience dinner as visually impaired people, not gastronomic OCD patients. The perfect bite would have to wait. The prawns were not overcooked, a classic travesty in most restaurants, and seemed to be sizable before I pulled a Sweeney Todd on them, butchering the tender flesh into unrecognizable shapes. The risotto flavour was not as robust as I prefer and may have leaned on the side of bland. I typically order things that I either would not make myself or cannot make as well and risotto is one of those dishes. I make a better risotto. Salt and pepper shakers were not on the table but I was not interested in finding out how to flavour my food in the dark. The vegetables were hard for me to figure out but not overcooked which I also appreciated. It was a considerable work out for my eating arm, as a disproportionate number of fork trips were empty.

Conversation vacillated between feeling like a toddler at their first meal and marvelling at how this must be what it feels like to be a spirit. Lucky for me I also had my trip to the rest room to share. We both agreed it was a wonderful way to appreciate conversation as a couple. A couple of spouses, a couple of toddlers, a couple of spirits.

Dinner complete by the same auditory test as the salad, our plates are cleared to make way for the Surprise dessert. The plate was cold so my hopes of molten chocolate lava cake were dashed. Fresh forks again placed in our hands like insolent children, we stabbed the chilled mass. It felt quite solid at first attack; a more aggressive angle was needed. Delivery of the first bite was a rich, creamy flavour. Cheesecake. This time I was going for some graham crust. A second bite revealed it was a flavoured cake. Pumpkin. Subtle and comforting, not to mention a stellar start to my holiday eating disorder.

We noticed that there was a seemingly sudden absence of peripheral noise. Our fellow gastro-spirits had phased out gradually but we had not noticed it until we were the only table left. We were escorted, a la congo line, to the payment area, dimly lit behind a heavy curtain.

Leaving fresher than I had arrived, our server led us outside where we thanked him for a unique experience and wished him a good night. Would we go back to Dark Table? Just try and stop us. The food was not exceptional. It was ok. We expected an adventure, not the meal of our lives. What we got was a sojourn to a place in our imaginations that would not have been possible with all senses engaged. I would recommend it whole-heartedly for an evening of surprising yourself. We did not know what to expect which was part of the fun. But a theme for me this week in other parts of my life is the beauty of managing expectations. I do not have a rating system like stars or spoons, so for now let’s just say this place has a lot of spirit.


Street Talk

No comments present
You May Also Like
Hire Professional Butchers In Brighton
Eating healthy has become a priority for most people these days. Meat enthusiasts who don’t like the taste of the meat they buy from the supermarket should consider purchasing meat from experienced Butchers in Brighton that put at their disposal Fresh Meat Produce Brighton. If you want fresh, high quality…
By: Sheraton Veranda in  Food and Drink  >  Restaurant Reviews   Jun 05, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Enjoying Pub Food Cheshire
Finding a place to relax and unwind is not an easy task. There are many things you should consider and each of them will lead to your satisfaction. This is why you have to take the time to learn as much as you can about the options you have at…
By: Johny Danes in  Food and Drink  >  Restaurant Reviews   Jun 02, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Have the Best Time at the Friendliest Pub Food Keswick Has!
To plan a perfect night out means first to find a top restaurant Keswick located and make a reservation. Well, what would you say that instead of a classic restaurant you choose a pub food Keswick located and combine your passion for good food with that for fine cocktails? From…
By: Sheraton Veranda in  Food and Drink  >  Restaurant Reviews   May 15, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Indian Cuisine - Lentils Are Served In The Health Conscious Fast Food Joints
Recently in an interview to one of leading newspapers of India, Krishnendu Ray, chairperson of the department of nutrition and food studies at NYU, said that the rankings of popular cuisines are linked to “culinary prestige”. He also said India is fast gaining international recognition as a country of great…
By: beyond360degree in  Food and Drink  >  Restaurant Reviews   May 12, 2016  
0
  Likes: 2

Make Your Event A Hit With Catering Services Rossendale
You have been planning for a huge event that you need to be perfect at all costs, and you are not sure about how to go about arranging food for all your guests at the event? Fret not as you can now hire catering services Rossendale. These catering services are…
By: Sia Benet in  Food and Drink  >  Restaurant Reviews   May 05, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Make Your Event A Hit With Catering Services Rossendale
You have been planning for a huge event that you need to be perfect at all costs, and you are not sure about how to go about arranging food for all your guests at the event? Fret not as you can now hire catering services Rossendale. These catering services are…
By: Sia Benet in  Food and Drink  >  Restaurant Reviews   May 05, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Enjoy A Great Dinner at A Top Restaurant Keswick Located!
Which is the best way to celebrate a work promotion? How to transform a simple Saturday evening into something really special? Well, the answer comes from a top restaurant Keswick located: just book a table and enjoy dish after dish! Their refined selection of dishes will definitely make your evening…
By: Sheraton Veranda in  Food and Drink  >  Restaurant Reviews   May 05, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Why Italian Restaurant so Romantic for Couples?
Every one of us wants our date experience to be perfect, whether it is just the first time or you have been with your date for numerous times. You might think that the place is not that important but if you want to make your each date be memorable and…
By: chris pawn in  Food and Drink  >  Restaurant Reviews   Mar 22, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Benefits And Aspects Of Vitamin Enhanced Alkaline Water
Endless numbers of diets have hit the market and have been squashed by critics, but some diets are different. Unless you have been alien to the happenings around, you must have heard about the alkaline diet. The concept basically says that eating alkaline foods and beverages can neutralize in the…
By: hampry in  Food and Drink  >  Restaurant Reviews   Mar 21, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

The Delicious Food Experience In Dubai Deira Creek
Deira is a worth visiting place for travelers from all around the world. It has a whole new range of dining out places for people getting a varied choice of finger licking and mouth watering eatery places to take pleasure in having super delicious meals with all family n friends…
By: Dine Lover in  Food and Drink  >  Restaurant Reviews   Mar 09, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Difference From Eating to Dining!
Need to be able to go to a lovely Family Pub Cheshire where you can dine and unwind with your closest family members and friends? Are you interested in tasting absolutely delicious food at a Family Pub Cheshire? The reason is due to the fact that this ingenious and well-organized…
By: aby in  Food and Drink  >  Restaurant Reviews   Mar 08, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Why Takeaways Have Become Popular In The Food Industry
Like in every other chore, time, effort and convenience plays a vital role in the food choices of today's consumer across the globe. Though it’s a trend that began in the west consumers need for convenience foods is slowing making its footprints in India. If you look around carefully, you…
By: beyond360degree in  Food and Drink  >  Restaurant Reviews   Feb 10, 2016  
0
  Likes: 3

Top 3 Tips to Follow When Buying Restaurant Furniture
Being in the restaurant & bar business turns you into a perfectionist. You always need the perfect food, perfect atmosphere and perfect seating to complement the theme you’re working with and for such a restaurateur who likes to keep things so perfect, buying the perfect restaurant furniture turns into a…
By: davidjack2 in  Food and Drink  >  Restaurant Reviews   Oct 14, 2015  
0
  Likes: 0

Where Do Princeton University Students Take A Date?
On average, most Princeton University students do not really have much extra spending money. Therefore taking a date out on the town becomes quite difficult. The good news is that there are inexpensive date night suggestions that students strapped for cash can take advantage of. Here are five ideas to…
By: Tom Gilmour in  Food and Drink  >  Restaurant Reviews   Feb 12, 2013  
0
  Likes: 0

Accommodation Great Yarmouth
Great Yarmouth is without any doubt one of the most fascinating coastal towns in England, attracting thousands of tourists every year. This town is well-known as a family holiday destination, bursting with a wide range of activities to do and sights to visit. In addition to this, it is worth…
By: Johny Deanes in  Food and Drink  >  Restaurant Reviews   Oct 21, 2015  
0
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 3266    Report this Article