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Dark Dining at the Science Gallery by Ann Treacy
February 17, 2010, 4:00 pm
Filed under: Dublin

On Valentine’s we went to our Dark Dining event at the Science Gallery. It was maybe the strangest, most anxious night I have ever had. But we really enjoyed it.

About 50 people attended the dinner. Mostly it looked like couples – not group of folks or double dates. Everyone looked nervous. We were led into the dining room in groups of 14. We were in the last group. We all got into an elevator and then we had to put on our blindfolds and we were told we couldn’t take them off until the night want done and we were back in the elevator. And the blindfolds were serious. You couldn’t see anything with them on.

So they led us into the room and set us at the table. It was terrible at first. The room seemed really loud. We didn’t know if we were next to other people or if people were seated next to us. Patrick kept pulling my chair closer to him, which really disoriented to me. Luckily the people across from us were super friendly. They had been dating for a month – and both had a great sense of humor. As we talked to them we started to relax. The wine didn’t hurt.

The first course was a slice of baguette with brie and a pear/raspberry chutney. It was good and not scary! I called the brie; Roz, our new friend, called the chutney. They don’t tell you what the food is until the end of the night, which is clearly a little sunnerving – but fun. You had to guess what it was by feeling it and then tasting it. What was fun was that the first person served a plate had the responsibility of describing the food to the others. Also we had silverware, which I tried to use, but really you end up stuffing the morsel onto the tines with your fingers. Not super classy – but fairly efficient. The only time I was bummed with this process was with dessert. Ice cream is hard to eat blind.

Occasionally there would be performance interludes. It seemed as if the musicians were playing right behind me – well as if some of them were and some were walking around playing loads of different instruments. And sometimes people would come and run your back. The first time Patrick tried to stealthily ask it that was me. But I have to image that you’re not very sneaky when blindfolded – plus the person was close enough to be touching us so probably she heard. Really working an event like this has to be as much fun as attending.

I took some pictures – with my blindfold on. I was trying to be somewhat discreet but again – tough to be discreet when you’re blindfolded. It looks as if folks caught me and posed for the picture. Our new friends took a picture of us. Really I can’t even tell you how hard it is to sit in a room when you don’t know the layout. Even though I *think* I know what room we were in, I didn’t have a feel about how many tables there were or where folks were sitting or where the kitchen was or the waiters…

I won’t go into the whole menu in detail. (You can see it here.) But I will tell you that I ate the raw oyster. I’m not lining up to eat more but I ate it! I didn’t eat the asparagus. I know loads of people love asparagus – I don’t. Usually I love seafood – but I didn’t love it as much blindfolded. I think the smell of the oyster on the plate may have just been too overwhelming. The oyster had a very strong smell of the sea. Lily and I had actually been walking on the pier and then beach that morning so it was just a little too close.

Also there are interludes of romantic facts or lore. At one time Patrick was supposed to try to hold my wrist to feel the skin, then muscle, maybe down to bone. That kind of thing just makes me giggle.

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

That sounds absolutely crazy…so why wouldn’t you be there to do it 🙂
I made a lovely spaghetti dinner with salad and bread and pudding for the children when they were much younger, and then game them plastic gloves to eat. They still talk about it! try it at home 🙂

Comment by beth

Maybe I better save that one until we are in our own house. I bet it was fun but messy!

Comment by Ann Treacy

ask your mom about her “mystery night”!!

Comment by julie

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