Sound and sight-free dining

I’m aware of a few Dans le Noir restaurants run by the blind where you dine in pitch darkness, as if you were blind too — there is one in London, France, and Moscow; another company called “Blackout” does the same and has just opened a new one in Tel-Aviv where the staff are not only blind, but deaf as well.

Opened in December 2007, the initiative is part of Na Lagaat, a non-profit organization that initially was only a theater company with blind and deaf actors; the idea grew into the opening of this restaurant staffed by people with such disabilities. It’s a unique idea and encourages employment.

This company, although initially for people with both disabilities, has separate restaurant sections run by those who are blind, and those who are deaf — I can’t imagine how it would work if all were blind and deaf. Or could it?

It is said that service levels at such restaurants are beyond excellent, and since you have to rely solely on your taste and smell senses, apparently you enjoy the food more than normal.

When I first heard of Dark Dining restaurants — where you eat in darkness but the waiters can see with their special goggles, I thought it was pretty neat. But having blind waiters takes things to a new emotional and social level as you take renewed understanding about what it means and how it feels to be blind.

Have any of you been to one of these? How was it?