I’ve lived for 10 years in Milan, and always wish to visit the “Dialogo nel buio” (means “Chat in the dark”)  project at the blind institute in the center of the city.

I’ve also work in that street for several years, but I never had the chance to experience life as a blind person, like how to perceive the spaces and with hearing and touching in the total darkness.

Thanks to “Dans le noir” here in Madrid I had the chance to dine in the darkness, without seeing the dimensions of the room and of course the way food is serves, so don’t wonder for the classic pictures, forget the phones, this is a unique unforgettable experience.

We are so lucky that this international format, born in Paris in 2004, has finally arrived in Madrid, after opening in Paris, Nantes, London, Barcelona, Saint Petersburg with permanent restaurants and in many other cities like New York, Varsavia, Geneva and Bangkok as a temporary restaurant.

“Dans le Noir” if you don’t know the project (or French) means “Inside the darkness” and it’s a more complex project than a blind dinner.

This restaurant, which is really not just a restaurant, has a clear purpose, not just to sell blind meals, but to introduce blind people to food service, and let them be your guides during the dinner.

The feelings will fearyou  are a lot, while entering the total dark room, you won’t wear any blindfold, your eyes will be wide open but you won’t see nothing at all, they keyword of the this experience is trust.

You will need to trust those guys serving you when you will be seated, but most of all, when entering and exiting you will trust their path and feel that little slow walking as the most dangerous of your life.

I mean, I didn’t have any idea of where the walls were, where the persona in front or besides me were walking, and this was really scary, that kind of scary where you start laughing like an idiot.

I was lucky enough to meet at the table a new friend and it was so funny to share this weird moments with her, even if I didn’t know her.

It’s interesting to do this experience with a friend or to talk with someone about what you are experiencing because we all feel the same feelings in the end.

What is even more interesting is guess what you are eating and what you are drinking. I won’t spoiler nothing, I am just saying that the menu presented by chef Manuel Nuñez are so tricky that I really went very far from the actual ingredients while guessing at the end of the dinner.

It’s a texture game, every dish is composed by different elements with different textures, it’s like a game with a strong conceptual identity.

But what surprised me the most that none was actually able to distinguish if the wines we were drinking were white or red.

I guess that experience a blind dinner would be better without talking with none, just mentalizing all the informations not to be confused or influenced by others. To me it always happen for example guessing the ingredients of a plate that some spare ingredients I don’t get it and when someone tell them I start tasting those ingredients and then it’s like if there is only that specific ingredients in my mind and I don’t taste the others.

So it will be wonderful to try the blind dinner experience alone, or in a more silent space, but on the other side I guess it will be deadly scaring, because talking gives a better idea of the space that you are taking up.

The fact that the 50% at least of the staff has discapacities makes this experience even more valuable in respect to a traditional restaurant experience, and the trust relation that need to be built during the dinner is something really special, because the guest is eating as if has discapacities while the staff that knows how to deal with those discapacities is helping the most creating a secure path along the dinner, with calm and self control.

Dans le noir restaurant in Madrid is in the center of the city, really close to Plaza Mayor, in the corner of a very tiny square that offers a great escape from the chaos and the noise of the city.

 

More information:Dans le Noir Madrid