Saturday, October 28, 2006

ONoir? OYes....

So, many of you may have read Jeff's blog post. There is a restaurant here in Montreal called ONoir where you dine in the dark. You are served by people who are 50-90% visually impaired. You are suppose to feel what it is like to eat as a visually impaired person and you are suppose to concentrate more on your other senses.

I will explain the process a bit. You walk into the lobby where there are lockers. You put your stuff in there so that you don't lose it and you also have to put in anything that glows or emits light. You then look at the menu and decide what you want. There are ~ 3 options for appetizer, meal and dessert. You can either get just the meal for 30$ or all three for 37$. You can chose one of the options or "the surprise". You just have to tell them if you have any food allergies so that you don't get too big of a surprise. Once you order your meal, you line up one behind the other, much like the locomotion, and walk through two sets of curtains into the dining room. It is pitch black and you are guided to your table by your server. There is very little light, but there are two red exit signs so that you know where to go in case of an emergency.

The set up isn't ideal for a large group. We went in a group of six and we ended up setting in a straight line. I don't know if this is the case for all large groups because some ass opened up their cell phone and I saw some large round tables briefly. I ordered the surprise for the appetizer, chicken as the main course and a surprise for dessert (because you really can't go wrong with any form of sugar). The appetizer was a seafood dish - which I guess to be tuna but it turned out to be salmon. My chicken was amazing! It had cheese on it which I wasn't expecting and it was the best surprise in my mouth ever. The dessert was a fruit mousse. I thought it was raspberry but one of the girls I was with thought it was strawberry.

Here is what I learned at the restaurant.

1. I am not very good at determining what something tastes like. Salmon vs. Tuna??? Those don't taste the same to me when I can see them...or do they??? I don't know anymore.

2. Being blind is hard. I never knew the size of the bite I was putting into my mouth. I am thankful that no one else knew either. I chewed with my mouth open a lot (well, much more than usual). I could never tell what type of food was on the end of my fork so it was always a surprise of what was going into my mouth. Or nothing at all...50% of the time there would be nothing on the end of my fork. I would also run my fingers over my plate to make sure that I ate everything on my plate.

3. People are stupid. I knew this all ready, but what is the point of going to a restaurant to eat in the dark if you have to open your cell phone 3 times to look at stuff.

4. Static is fun. I could rub my cloth napkin on my jeans and then I could make it the napkin spark. Yay for a fun light show.

So that was my experience. It was fun to do once or twice, but I will not be a regular. It is hard to have a conversation except for with the people right beside you. All in all, a good time.

"I Remember the words of the misguided fool, Do unto others as you'd have them do. Not an eye for an eye is the golden rule, just leaves a room full of blind men" - DMB

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I'm glad you enjoyed the meal. Too bad about the cell phone. I can relate a little. It would drive me nuts not knowing what I was eating. But I still wouldn't look.
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