June feels like the birthday month. So many of my friends and family celebrate their coming into the world this month that it is sometimes difficult to fit it all in. However June 21st 2012 was a particularly special day as it was Tyron’s 30th birthday – which in my opinion is a big one. So I began planning a surprise birthday dinner affair at O.Noir Toronto, an experiential restaurant that offers a “dine in the dark” experience in a room with no light. It encourages you to use your other senses and gain a better understanding of what it is like to be blind. I have been wanting to go to O.Noir for quite a while, and it was the perfect location for a surprise.
After texting back and forth with the manager who seated Tyron’s friends, I got the okay that everyone was ready and it was time for us to arrive. The entrance looks like a subway station, with stairs leading down bellow the sidewalk into a low lit reception area. There is a set menu, so we placed our orders in the lobby and our waiter Gavin, took us by the hand and led us into the dining room.
Needless to say it was dark. I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face, and I could feel my eyes straining to see something. We were led to our seats, and awkwardly felt our way into our chairs. Tyron had no idea that his friends were also sitting at our table right in front of him. To be honest I wasn’t even sure if they were there because they were silent. As Tyron told me a story about how he felt like he was in a mine shaft, I heard someone quietly laugh through their nose. “Hello?” I said “Is anyone there?” Tyron was confused and was trying to figure out what was wrong when finally one of his friends spoke up, and the rest chimed in “Happy Birthday!”. Being one that has a hard time keeping secrets and surprises, I was impressed that I actually managed to pull this one off.
It was a fantastic experience. We had fun stealing each others drinks and trying to spook each other out. The food was exceptional. I got a few beans up my nose with my poor coordination, and we finished by scraping our fingers on the bottom of our plates to ensure we didn’t miss anything. We felt pretty lucky if we discovered a piece of steak still left to eat.
It was a pretty expensive meal ranging from $32-$39 depending on if you get dessert or not, plus drinks, but absolutely worth the experience. I bet it would be a great activity for a first date!