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 $69.95 for five courses; dinner is $85.95 for seven.
871 S. Valley View Blvd., 89103, 702-960-4000, Monday – Thursday: 5 p.m. – 11 p.m., Friday – Sunday: noon – 11 p.m.
Diana Edelman is the founder of Vegans, Baby and has emerged as the face of plant-based dining in Las Vegas and the leading plant-based restaurant consultant in the city. She spent a decade in the travel blogging world before switching gears to work in elephant rescue in Thailand. Diana travels the world to meet chefs and try vegan food, as well as speak at events focusing on travel, tourism, veganism and entrepreneurship. She’s a partner with the prestigious James Beard Foundation and curates their Vegas Vegan Dinners at the James Beard House. Diana is also a partner with Life is Beautiful, curating the all-vegan Farm Stand.