Offbeat eateries -- Dans le Noir?

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Tired of the same old Applebee's and Cracker Barrel fare? Well, fortunately, you're living in the 21st century, where choice reigns. We've pulled together some suggestions for places that offer novel dining experiences.

Much of what we think of as taste is expectation; a particularly stellar presentation can disguise rather ordinary food, to the relief of wedding cake bakers everywhere. Praise then the confidence of the owners of Dans Le Noir?, a restaurant with branches in Paris, London and Moscow, that offers dining in the dark.

At Dans, stripping away the visual clues forces diners to focus on the flavor of its haute cuisine. As the food is served, primarily by sight-impaired staff, aroma becomes a compelling element. Mouth feel, texture, even the sound of the crunchy bits is exaggerated.

I've eaten in many restaurants where I wouldn't mind have one less sense, mostly smell; a clothespin would have been a godsend. Bravo to Dans Le Noir? for showing the courage to make flavor its raison d'être.

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