While there are many things you can do in the dark, we recently did something we had never done before: We put a bunch of unknown things in our mouths. Before you get all upset, you should know we're referring to the tantalizing experience known as dark dining, which originally started in Europe.
Chef Adrianne Calvo hosts a dining in the dark event once a month at her restaurant, Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar, in Miami. When we got to the restaurant - located in a strip mall next to a Goodyear far from the typical trendy restaurants popping up in Miami - the first things we saw were feathered boas, satin gloves, too many candles to count, and servers dressed in cabaret outfits. It was Moulin Rouge meets Vampire Diaries meets Halloween.
But as soon as Calvo started telling us about her dining in the dark nights, we learned that this was all part of the theme for the month: Aphrodisiacs. She's done everything from Carnival theme to Western theme, trading in the boas and masquerade masks for haystacks and cowboy hats.
Rather than turn the room pitch black and have the servers wear night vision goggles, guests were blindfolded. This way, our four other senses were heigthened and we were able to experience food like we never had before. The dinner lasted about two hours, and Calvo always starts the night with champagne sipping, which was very interesting in itself. Then, as music blasted out of speakers, servers brought out small entrees and drinks, with Calvo on the mic explaining the dish after each tasting.
Servers guided us toward our food and utensils, sometimes telling us which dishes we should eat with our hands (the oysters were the strangest to touch blindfolded.) We even learned how everyday ingredients can taste very exotic, and how celery has aphoridisiac properties. We missed our plates with our utensils a few times, grabbed our wine glasses instead of our water (we're not complaining), but all in all, Chef Adrianne's food was delicious with or without blindfolds or boas.