Dining in the Dark (O.Noir Review)


by Lindsey Evanoff | Posted on Happy or Hungry

On Sunday evening, Evan and I had a double date with our good friends Emily and Corey.

It was Emily who suggested O.Noir aka dining in the dark (at Church and Wellesley) and I seemed to recall hearing of it before but not really paying attention, so if you are new to the concept like I was I will tell you, you dine in the DARK. Not just with the lights off, I mean totally, 100%, black out dark. Zero light whatsoever.

The restaurant is in a windowless basement, and promised to be a sensual dining experience. Since you can’t see, your other senses (importantly TASE!) are heightened.

I was reading reviews before we arrived at the restaurant and many people were saying that dining in the dark was a life changing experience. Also, and this is something I really like, the entire wait staff actually is legally blind.

When you walk into the restaurant at first, you enter the bar area, and while it is dim, it is not yet dark. You place your order in the light when you can actually see the menu. The four of us all got the prix fixe menu which included a starter, entree and dessert for $39.95.

To get into the dark dining room we had to follow our server (whose name was Tracey) single file while holding onto the left shoulder of the person in front of us. I held onto Tracey, Evan held onto me, Emily onto Evan, Corey onto Emily. It was like a blind, ridiculously slow and shuffley conga line. You actually enter another black room before the BLACK room so that the door to the main part of the restaurant can shut before you open the door to the BLACK room. They are really serious about not letting any light in.

After about two hours in the dark, we again followed Tracey in a weird, slow conga line back out into the main restaurant.

This was definitely an experience I won’t forget! These dark dining restaurants seem to be in every large city, so I would definitely recommend checking one out if it’s near you. I’m not sure if I would go again for a while, but it’s a different thing to do at least once.

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