Jaded gourmands looking to spice up their New Year’s Eve dining experience might be interested in the Dark Dining event at the West Village French bistro Camaje. The four course dinner is designed to accommodate a small gathering of guests who, upon arrival, don featherweight blindfolds for the duration of the prix fixe meal, which features wine pairings and mysterious performances between courses.
While you surrender to the dark side, a team of attentive servers help you find your fork, your wine and, when you raise your hand, the way to the bathroom. The adventure in selective deprivation is the brain-child of multidisciplinary performance artist Dana Salisbury, and her sense of theatricality certainly worked for The Village Voice last year:
In the course of two more dishes, our remaining senses are treated to a light mist of rose water, a tap-dancing percussionist who plays his entire body, the delicate fingering of a clavichord, a whisper of breath across our cheeks, some random fingers in our hair, and laughter at every place setting. . . . When we emerge, the dim hallway seems glaringly bright, but everyone is grinning, seemingly relaxed, relieved, and totally elated.
is known for their caramelized onion pastry tart, duck confit appetizer and, naturally, crepes. But the Dark Dining organizers are mum about the menu they’re preparing – the idea is to isolate and open up the taste buds without any preconceptions. (At the end, guests are given a card listing the food, wine and performers.) Don’t worry – in all the years they’ve been doing this there haven’t been any reported pranks like serving Big Macs with box wine, or just seating the guests and tiptoeing home. And really, as Americans what could be more fitting than kissing 2007 goodbye while wearing a blindfold, mouth stuffed with food?