The Boss and the Björk danced in it. Slater and Dorf were (regrettably) alone in it. Peter Sellers took a shot in it. Luke almost went over to it. The Gipper claimed to have been left in it. And The Dead were just in it.
It’s time for you to eat in it.
Dark dining has been around for a while but it seems no less bat-shit insane. At the same time, we’re starting to feel that Mickey Rourke probably knew what was going on back in ‘86.
There is more than one dark dining experience top be had in NY and there is one large difference between the two. Let’s start with Dark Dining Projects.
Easily the seemingly more stable of the two, Dark Dining Projects actually has set dates for its events listed on its site. In their own words, here’s how it works: “Arriving to a warm welcome and a few words of orientation, you don a featherweight meditation mask and are immersed in velvety darkness. Then, gently guided to your table, you are served an extraordinary four-course meal paired with fine wines.”
The other consuming (in) the void event is Dinner in the Dark organized through Cosmo events (not the magazine) and is described thusly by them: “Guests are greeted with a complimentary drink at the lit bar. Waiters - wearing their night vision goggles - will then personally guide you into the pitch-black dining room. You will be seated at your table and familiarized with your wineglass and plate - food is handled with the fingers. You will not see the food you are eating or your fellow guests at your table until the dessert course, when your fellow dining partners will be revealed…”
Obviously, the big difference here is that at Dark Dining Projects you wear a special blindfold, where at Dinner in the Dark you are in a sensory-deprived black room. We personally feel the latter is cooler even if, ultimately, it doesn’t make a difference. (Then again… blindfolds, never bad.) Also, Dark Projects seems genuinely more interested in the artistic side of the event, which, again, might not matter.
Dinner in the Dark requires pre-registration with Cosmo. Fuckers. Meanwhile, Dark Dining Projects lists its events on the site and takes reservations. They have two events coming up.
Did these pants just shrink?
Dark Dining Projects:
When: Wed., May 23rd and Wed., June 20th. Both at 7:00pm
Where: CamaJe, 85 MacDougal St. (b/w Bleaker and Houston); A/C/E/B/D/F/V train to West 4th St.; 1 train to Houston St.
Cost: (A painful) $75 per person. (Though it covers wine.)
Tip: CamaJe also offers cooking classes in its kitchen.
Tip to Look Smart: The San Remo bar was once near CamaJe (at 93 MacDougal). Its regulars included Tennessee Williams, William Burroughs, Miles Davis, James Agee, Jackson Pollock, W.H. Auden, and Frank O’Hara. Reportedly Jack Kerouac once got cruised here by Gore Vidal. The bartenders were also notorious for beating up the patrons.
Tip to Look Smart: After dinner, consider a stroll to Washington Square Park a few blocks away. Go to the Northwest corner of the park. The huge old tree there (maybe NY’s oldest) was once used as a hanging tree for criminals. In 1820, the last person to be hanged in NY for arson swung from these limbs.
Dining in the Dark:
When, where and Cost: Contact Cosmo events for more info. Though even after registering you’re told to call the Cosmo Party’s Reservation Center at 1-877-462-6766. So might want to try that first.
Tip: When reserving, let them know if you are vegetarian or allergic to anything. This means you should probably ask your date BEFORE making the reservation.
Tip: Both dark meal versions have ways of getting you to a lit bathroom (read: you raise your hand like the child you are).
Warning: These events are tentative at best and are always in danger of being cancelled due to lack of interested parties. Calling the day of is an absolute necessity. In case you do get shut out, have one of our Anytime dates ready.)
Warning: 2: Take protection. And we don’t mean a bib. The sensory nature of this kind of date combined with the fact that it is beyond the pale combined with the cost has a well better than average chance of you being in another dark room later on.