Dining in the dark while wearing a blindfold means you can't see your food or even utensils. It's been happening at Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar since 2009.
Other Short Order bloggers have called the experience "enlightening". So it's about time that Chef Adrianne Calvo took her special dinner parties to new heights or new places... outside of her Kendall restaurant. She's turning it into an entire masquerade-themed gala for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
On Friday, September 20, the Dark Dining Eyes Wide Shut Masquerade Ball will be held at the Coral Gables Country Club. Tickets may come at a steep cost ($150-250), but the money is going to a good cause. A portion of the proceeds raised through ticket sales will be donated to Make It Count, Chef Adrianne's foundation, which benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. She has hosted more than 50 Dark Dining dinners over the years, but this is a chance for her to open it up to a wider audience.
"With the success of our monthly Dark Dining series at Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar over the past five years, the idea to offer the event on a grand scale came up many times," Chef Adrianne told Short Order. "I'm extremely passionate about doing things to support others in need. It was a perfect fit to offer Dark Dining not only to a larger group of individuals for a night, but to also make it benefit a charity I am so very passionate about."
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The menu is a secret as usual, but the chef promises a culinary experience like no other. "Sometimes it's inspired from a region of Italy and sometimes a region of France. I like to change it up each month, especially since we get so many repeat guests month after month. For the Dark Dining Masquerade Ball, guests can expect a heightened, sensual experience from being blindfolded while enjoying their courses."
The evening's sensual entertainment will come in the form of live performers, dancers, and other specialty acts. And the masquerade ball component goes along perfectly with the idea of not knowing what you're eating. "There is something about wearing a mask -- the unknown factor that you don't really know who is behind the mask -- that makes it mysterious and intriguing at the same time," says Chef Adrianne.
There are two separate seatings for Dark Dining, each anteceded by a VIP cocktail hour featuring an open bar, hors d'oeuvres, and desserts prepared by Chef Adrianne, and exotic entertainment. The Dark Dining experience comes only with the Premier VIP ticket. Visit the Dark Dining Miami website for more details.