#FoodieFriday: Dining in the Dark at the W

by Gracie Watt on April 8, 2022 in Food+Drink,
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You may have heard that when you lose one of your senses, the others are heightened. But have you ever tested this theory when it comes to heightening your sense of taste? 

The W Hotel in Austin is now offering a Dining in the Dark experience, presented by Fever, where you can take a drastic, albeit temporary, step to losing one of your senses. 

While the menu for Austin’s Dining in the Dark experience is undisclosed, expect creative and unique main dishes such as the one pictured. Photo Nikki A. Rae

Experience

Perfect for a solo adventure, date, or night out with friends, Dining in the Dark is a 90-minute culinary experience specifically designed to rely on taste and smell rather than sight. Each attendee has the option of a Green (Vegan), Blue (Pescatarian), or Red (Meat-based) menu, and then receive an appropriately-colored little LED light to aid with service. Each menu includes a starter, a main course and a unique dessert. 

The menus are kept a secret, but we can tell you that no matter which menu you choose, taste buds are sure to be delighted, and the mind is challenged by pairing texture with taste to figure out what the delicious meal you’re eating is. All guests are provided with a silk blindfold and sit in a darkened room on the second floor of the Marriott’s W. Each dish is revealed after the meal is over, when you have the opportunity to see if your guess was correct and ample time to readjust blindfolds as well.

Guests raise their hands to make guesses at what the entree might have been. Test your own taste buds and buy tickets for the Austin experience now. Photo Nikki A. Rae

History

Cora Hankey, Fever Originals Associate Producer, explained that this experience originated in the UK. “Studies show that 80% of people eat with their eyes. With that sense eliminated, the theory is that the other senses, namely taste and smell, take over to elevate your meal to a whole new level,” she says. Fever organized a first test in Manchester, England in July 2020. Two months later they launched the experience in six more cities across the UK,. 

Last year, Fever expanded the experience to more than 30 cities worldwide including the US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia and Singapore. This is how the exciting experience came to Austin’s W Hotel. 

A chef for the experience prepares the floral dishes to go out. An LED light corresponds to which menu each guest has ordred, so dietary restrictions are respected as well. Photo Nikki A. Rae

More about Fever 

Operating for 5 years and now with a team of over 350 people, Fever is the leading entertainment discovery platform and is in more than 60 cities across the world. They are backed by leading institutional investors, including Rakuten Capital (investors in Pinterest and Lyft, among others), Accel (investors in tech companies such as Facebook), Fidelity and Atresmedia (producers of successful TV shows such as Money Heist).

Tickets

There are a few more dates available for the Dining in the Dark experience at Austin’s own W Austin Hotel: April 22, May 6 and May 13. Tickets are available now but are going fast. For other Texas cities, check out Dining in the Dark in Houston (May-June), Dallas (first Tuesday of every month) and San Antonio (to start in May).

The W Austin is currently hosting Fever’s Dining in the Dark experience, which makes for a memorable and reasonably-priced date night. Photo Nikki A. Rae

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Cover photo courtesy Nikki A. Rae

Gracie Watt is the Editorial Assistant at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and a senior at St. Edward’s University in Austin, studying Journalism. When she’s not writing, Watt enjoys singing, playing the guitar and doing volunteer work. @graciethatgirl