Few people would dare take a bite of something before knowing what it is – especially if they can’t see it!
In the spirit of Halloween, I decided to take on that dare for a dining experience unlike any I’ve ever had before. Last night, I attended Dinner in the Dark at RIVUE, where guests came together to enjoy a delicious six-course meal all the while being blindfolded and completely in the dark about the food they were about to eat. The event was inspired by a trend that has become common in Europe and is showing up in big cities, like New York and Los Angeles.
To start off Dinner in the Dark, RIVUE hosted a half-hour cocktail reception that featured two drinks with Crystal Head Vodka – Vampire’s Blood and the Black Widow.
After the reception, it was time for lights out and blindfolds on. A group of guests and I headed over to the revolving circle of tables and chairs to sit in dim light and begin the six-course meal.
First up, was the appetizer – a trio of explosions, including truffle, parmesan and romaine filled ravioli. As each of us took a bite from the three spoons laid out on the table, Galt House executive chef Brian Riddle asked us to guess the tastes and smells we were experiencing while our eyes were covered. I’m not a huge food connoisseur so my guesses weren’t great, but some people were spot on every time. Once we had a taste of each course, we were allowed to take off our blindfold to see if our guesses were in fact correct.
After the appetizer, came the chilled creamy soup with a butter poached Yukon gold potato on the side. Served inside a coffee cup, I accidentally poked a finger inside the soup while trying to find the dish on the table. For the third course we tried the “dry shot” of oven dried-red bell pepper, nicoise olives, garlic chips, fried basil leaves, capers and toasted croutons. This crunchy medley was far from your average salad.
Then it was time for the main courses: the “Tuna Unroll” – fresh pickled ginger wasabi sorbet, with soy gel – and Sassafras Beef, a root beer glazed flatiron steak with pumpkin spiced aroma.
All the food was delicious and savoring each bite with a blindfold across your eyes only enhanced the touch, smell and taste of each dish. It also brought a ton of amusement to dinner. With all the anticipation and a little apprehension about what we were about to eat and where we could find our utensils without being able to see, we were left with a humorous, challenging, exciting and memorable night.
Finally, for the “Decadent End,” Chef Riddle served up a creative concoction of dark chocolate mousse, milk chocolate, hazelnut and – the secret ingredient – pop rocks! With each bite of the dessert, I could hear the pop rocks crackling and felt a funny tingling sensation. I couldn’t stop laughing nor could I stop eating the sinfully delicious confection.
With the combination of the elegant atmosphere and the smells, tastes, sounds and feel (but no sight) of the food, Dinner in the Dark was definitely a hit. I’m excited that this big city trend has finally come to Louisville and hope Chef Riddle continues to incorporate it into other dining experiences at RIVUE.
For information on RIVUE at the Galt House and other upcoming events, visit www.rivue.com.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).