Wed, Dec 28, 2011 - Page 17 News List

Blind French eaterie seeks to conquer New York

Blind waiter Sam Davis III, left, leads fellow waiters to their seats during a training session at the Dans Le Noir restaurant in New York on Dec. 3.

Photo: Reuters

A French restaurant where diners cannot see what they are eating, often spill their wine and must conduct conversations while staring into pitch darkness has proved such a success in Europe that it is making a foray into the Americas.

After expanding from Paris into London, Moscow, Barcelona and St. Petersburg, the Dans Le Noir chain, staffed by blind waiters, will open an outlet in the neon-lit tourist hub of New York’s Times Square this month.

What seemed at the outset to be just a bizarre fad, has proved surprisingly popular. “When I started this business, everyone thought I was crazy,” Edouard de Broglie, 49, CEO of the chain’s owner, Ethik Investment, and founder of the restaurant chain, told Reuters.

Dans Le Noir, French for “In the Dark,” is not the first restaurant of its kind, although it has spread the fastest, having served more than a million people at its restaurants and temporary venues in Warsaw, Geneva and Bangkok.

Dans Le Noir uses visually impaired waiters to guide patrons past heavy black curtains into a pitch-dark dining room where they are served a surprise two or three-course menu.









1. pitch darkness n. phr.

一片漆黑 (yi2 pian4 qi1 hei1)

例: Suddenly the lights went out, and the house was left in pitch darkness.


2. make a foray / v. phr.

嘗試 (chang2 shi4)

例: She made a brief foray into acting before becoming a teacher.


3. outset n.

一開始 (yi4 kai1 shi3)

例: I told him from the outset I wasn’t interested.


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