Nash and I love adventure and for our anniversary we decided to dine in the dark at O.Noir. The restaurant, located at the corner of Church and Charles has two dinner services 5:45pm and 8:30pm. Dinner is a prix fixe with 2 courses at $32 and 3 courses at $39.
After placing our orders in a small lit bar area, we were led by our server into the pitch-black dining room. All the servers are legally blind. Our server guided us to the table with a hands-on-shoulder method. It was scary at first to rely only on another person’s voice, but I learnt to put my trust in our guide and found my way to the table. We were seated at the end of a row of tables beside a wall.
We began with some Long Island iced teas, which I made a conscious effort not to knock over. We were also brought bread which I failed to butter. It’s hard to judge how much butter I scooped on my knife in the dark, so there were blobs of it everywhere! I ordered the Surprises for three of my courses. Nash ordered from the menu for his appetizer and main dish. I think my appetizer was a salad with avocado, feta cheese, tomatoes and cranberries, at least I think they were cranberries. Nash had a grilled octopus salad. The octopus was very tender and not chewy.
I’m still trying to figure out what my surprise main was (I forgot to ask). There was green beans, mashed potatoes and what I think is steak in a mushroom sauce. Nash thinks it was pork. It was very flavourful. He ordered the shrimp and sun-dried tomato risotto. I had one of his shrimp and it was well seasoned and felt very large. We both had the surprise dessert which was a cheesecake, served on its side. Not sure what sort of cheesecake but I did taste coconut and pineapple. Maybe pina colada.
The whole experience was a lot of fun. Our appetizers and mains were served in plates that had edges like a bowl, so accidentally pushing the food off the plate wasn’t a concern. I did end up using my hands to help get food on my fork, and to feel if I was actually done each course. Technically I could have licked the plate and nobody would have noticed. It was interesting to have to rely on other senses to gauge our way in the dark. We could hear conversations around us and tried to figure out how close they were. I think there was one table separating us and the people beside us. There was a lot of accidental eye-poking to try to see how far away we were from each other.
During our entire meal, everybody kept up with the rules. Nobody pulled out a smartphone or let in any light. Conversations was plenty and it was definitely a memorable way to spend an anniversary!