Leave it up to four of your five senses to enjoy a vegan meal, because at Blackout (Dining in the Dark) you’re — you guessed it — void of your sight.
The restaurant, which opened mid-summer 2017, is a sensory experience where you tap into your sense of smell, touch, taste and sound … in the pitch black. While you can’t see what you’re eating, we promise you this: every single thing on your plate is vegan.
It’s vegan dining … but most don’t even know it’s vegan!
Created by the founders of One Family Animal Sanctuary in Las Vegas, Rachel and Avi Levi have set out to create a dining experience like none other in town. Sure, similar concepts have popped up, but this is the city’s first standalone dining in the dark restaurant to find a permanent home tucked nearby Rio All Suites Hotel. And it’s for sure the first vegan dining in the dark experience in Las Vegas. Or, maybe the world. We’re not researching it to find out, but it seems pretty likely.
It’s a dream the Levi’s have had for years, and in July they saw that dream come to fruition.
Open for lunch and dinner, guests must stash their phones and anything that emits light (like watches) into complimentary lockers, then they are guided into the black interior of the restaurant, holding shoulder’s with each other and staff donning infrared goggles.
Guests are given a choice if three flavor profiles for their food: sweet, savory or spicy. That’s it. There’s no menu to order off of. This one instruction creates a series of six courses (for four lunch) that takes guests on a culinary journey from soup to appetizer to salad to entree to dessert and more … just in case you don’t think you’ll be full.
It’s a bit of a fumble at first to feel around in the dark for your silverware, your drinks, your food and your senses are heightened so that whisper is more like a yell, but hey, we dig it. We’re not going to tell you what we ate because a part of the joy is seeing the menu after and having that ahhhh moment, but we will tell you the food is really delicious. And, that the menu rotates seasonally.
Blackout’s lunch is $45 for four courses; dinner is $65 for six.
871 S. Valley View Blvd., Las Vegas, 89103 | 703.960.4000
Open daily: Monday – Thursday, 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Friday – Sunday, noon – 11 p.m.
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Diana Edelman is the founder of Vegans, Baby. She previously lived and worked in Thailand where she spent years working for an elephant sanctuary and has traveled around the world speaking about the realities of elephant tourism. She is a public speaker who has appeared at SEED Food + Wine, VegFest Puerto Rico, VegFest Toronto and more, a journalist and entrepreneur. Diana is also behind the Vegas Vegan Dinners at James Beard Foundation’s James Beard House.