I love gimmick-y restaurants. Especially themed restaurants. I think I'm just a consumer that way. So what's the gimmick to this restaurant you ask? From the sign above you guys can probably postulate that you're probably eating in the dark. I know of several restaurants that advertise dining in the dark, probably most prominently O, Nuit in Toronto, Dark Table in Vancouver, and Dining in the Dark in Boston . However, my sister and I have been reading about Opaque for awhile and we probably won't be going to Toronto/Boston for a long time. That and my parents hate themed restaurants...so we probably won't have a very good chance of going in Vancouver either.
The dining experience is truly unique and I feel that I'll be talking to you more about the experience than the food. I'll take this opportunity to tell you now that it is kind of expensive...as in $100 per person expensive. Originally, the boyfriend and I mistakenly made a reservation, saw the price, tried to call and cancel, and then subsequently realized that it cost $50 dollars per person to cancel. Although we may not have fully intended on going....the experience was a good one and my sister, boyfriend, and I all had quite a bit of fun in the dark. No hanky panky between the boyfriend and I though! That shit is gross.
|This is a long post, here's a photo of my dog looking disgruntled.|
I don't want to ruin the surprise of dining in the darkness for everyone, but I'll rate the service, discuss the food, and share my experiences. For the food I'll give my impression of it, but for the completeness of this post I'll return to the sister restaurant, Indigo, and order some dishes to further analyze them with sight. =) I think concentrating so hard on eating and actually getting the food into your mouth, took away some of the brain power one would usually use to "comment" on the cuisine. All of it was tasty and well executed, but I think, as I said before, dining at Opaque was about the experience.
|Here he is hiding behind my mom.|
First walking into the restaurant you'll be guided into a lighted corridor, seen above, and you'll be able to pick three dishes: an appetizer, a main and a dessert, from a set menu. I chose the Ahi Tuna Tartare with the taro chips, the steak with mashed potatoes and green beans, and a warm chocolate cake with minted strawberries and vanilla ice cream. After ordering your entire meal, you'll be directed to wait until your server comes out to lead you to your table and reminded that cell phones, cameras, glow in the dark watches, and any glittery jewelry are strictly prohibited within the dining room. At Opaque there are two types of tables: booths and the open dining room. Luckily enough, my boyfriend, sister and I were able to sit at a booth so we could chat and embarrass ourselves privately. Given the chance to settle and take in our surroundings I drew a picture to give you guys an idea of what the main dining room looked like.
The freebies that they gave us, were quite obviously freebies: a little smoked salmon, with some cream cheese on top of a cucumber round and a platter of chopped vegetables with three dipping sauces, but they did a lot to ease you, as a diner, in to the experience of eating without your sight. At that point you realize eating is much more about touch, smell, and taste. As a diner, textures are important in your mouth, but I didn't really expect that I'd be mashing my hands around in the food to even get an idea where it was. Eating the salmon and cucumber was easy enough, but consuming the vegetables and dip was actually quite difficult. I kept on dipping my fingers into the three sauces, a yogurt tzatziki, a sundried tomato spread, and what resembled hummus, when searching for the assorted vegetables that accompanied them: cucumber rounds, broccoli, green beans, and sliced red bell peppers.
|Here's a photo that didn't make it into the Sugarlips post|
|Here's my dog celebrating Chinese New Year|
|Here's some honey from the Seattle farmers market.|
All in all I have to say that the three of us had a lot of fun dining at Opaque. I'm not sure if I can justify it's $100 per person tasting menu, but you're paying for the fun and the experience of dining in the dark. If you go, don't cheat!! I would lose my respect for you forever. Haha, go hard or go home! Thanks for reading guys!
Price: $$$$$ out of $$$$$ (For what it was worth certainly, if you want to try the food alone just go to Indigo!)
Kid Friendly: Yes
Repeatability: Maybe (Probably with friend or individuals that were really gung-ho about the experience, but the three of us again? Probably not)