Apr 11, 2024 - Food and Drink

"Dining in the Dark" comes to Michigan Avenue

Photo of woman eating with blindfold on

Carrie digging into a spring roll. Photo: Courtesy of Matt Planer

Last weekend I mixed up date night by "Dining in the Dark" at About Last Knife at the Arlo Hotel. (It was $64 without tip and drinks.)

The vibe: It wasn't actually that dark. Turns out, the lights are on, but a blindfold awaits each diner at the table, and the very helpful staff tells you what's happening.

What to expect: The host gives you a colored, flameless candle that indicates whether you're eating vegan (green), pescatarian (blue) or meat (red, of course) for the three-course meal. You can put on your blindfold right away or wait until the host announces the first course is on its way.

  • After each plate is cleared, you guess what you just ate before the host reveals it.
Photo of food on a plate
The vegan appetizer of pita, veggies and Baba ghanoush. Carrie took this picture while she was blindfolded! Photo: Carrie Shepherd/Axios

Best bite: I went pescatarian, and my husband went vegan.

  • The spring roll appetizer was quite fresh and crunchy with a tangy peanut sauce.
  • The non-dairy strawberry ice cream with crunchy quinoa cacao chips was better than my too-frozen hard-shelled ice cream scoop.
Photo of a plate of food
Carrie's husband, Matt, had a really hard time keeping his eggplant entree on his plate. Photo: Carrie Shepherd/Axios

The verdict: An inventive way to do date night or dine with friends.

  • Maybe even best for a first date if you don't want to see how the person eats.

Yes, but: Difficult if you have Tony Soprano-like hypervigilance like me and need to always see who's coming in the door or up to your table.

  • It's a good skill for a reporter, I guess.
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