Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Mood Lighting?

French restaurateur Edouard de Broglie is bringing his, I suppose, novel restaurant concept to London. Dans le Noir ("In the dark") is already a success in Paris. The concept in Paris, which will be replicated in London, is this: patrons enter a lit bar area, where they select their meals for the evening. They're then seated in a pitch black room, and served their meals by blind waiters.

The theoretical draw behind this concept is that eating is a different, interesting experience when it is all about taste and texture.

I suppose.

If I sound hesitant or skeptical, it's because I am. This concept sounds ridiculous to me. I understand that there is some novelty value to eating without seeing. As a child, I played that game that involved a blindfold and guessing what your friends feed you. I get it: sometimes we think our taste bud-brain connection is stronger than it is.

But I'm a grown-up now and I go out to eat for enjoyment, not to test myself. And for me, enjoyment involves seeing beautiful food. Eating is a multi-sensory experience. Sight is an important sense. Why go to an expensive restaurant, only to voluntarily diminish the dining experience?

I guess there must be a market for this concept, otherwise it wouldn't be in expansion mode. But...this food lover just doesn't get it.

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