The discovery of fire changed the way we eat in more ways than one; its heat added new flavors to our meals, while its light allowed our obnoxious eyes to horn in on our mouth's enjoyment of those flavors. Today's Groupon takes you and a date back to a more primal time that will reveal what you eat in a whole new light—total darkness. For $99, you get a sensual dinner for two at Opaque—Dining in the Dark in Santa Monica, any Friday or Saturday night starting at 6:30 p.m. (a $198 value).
Under the expert guidance of your blind or visually impaired server, you'll be led from the bright coat check and lounge into the unlit dining room, where your sensory adventure begins. Without your eyes, you'll be forced to engage your four other senses to their fullest during each course of your meal. Prepared by a local star chef, the menu of your choosing serves you three blind courses: appetizers, an entree, and dessert. Begin your exploration of aroma and flavor with either a baby arugula salad with red oak and frizee or an heirloom tomato salad. Then choose from grilled chicken breast with veggies and parmesan, grilled ahi tuna steak atop vegetable salad and sticky rice, filet mignon crowned with spinach and garlic, or a vegetarian pasta option. For dessert, savor the moist textures of mango panna cotta with coconut crème anglaise or warm chocolate lava cake with fresh berries and vanilla whipped cream.
Along with the symphony of tastes in your meal, the darkness will reveal other delights, such as the rich soundscape of overheard conversations and ambient noise that surround you every day. You might even perceive a sexy timbre to your lover's voice that's rarely present in his or her text messages.
- The term blind date has taken on new meaning in Los Angeles, where Dining in the Dark has become the hot new thing. – Fodor's
- Diners choose in advance from one of five three-course menus that feature dishes with particularly sensual aromas, textures and/or tastes. The basic idea is that removing the visual stimulus heightens the other senses. Aromatic pesto-crusted chicken with truffled macaroni and cheese is a popular entrée, for example, while soups have been dropped from the lineup because of the mess factor. – Jerry Shriver, USA Today