Paris

The Hidden Kitchen of Paris

The dining location for your ten-course tasting meal is kept 'secret' until your reservation is confirmed

If there is one dinner to plan in advance on your trip to Paris, make it Hidden Kitchen. Located in the swanky Parisian flat of two talented American chefs, this secret restaurant is where food-loving strangers come to meet and eat.

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Eating In The Dark

Here’s a restaurant theme you didn’t see coming: darkness.

The concept of purposefully eating in complete pitch-black dark originated with Jorge Spielmann, a blind clergyman from Zurich. When guests ate dinner at the Spielmann house some would wear blindfolds during their meal to show solidarity with their host and to better understand his world. What Spielmann’s sighted guests found was that the blindfolds heightened their sense of taste and smell and made their dining experience more enjoyable. That gave Spielmann the idea to open a dark restaurant, which he did in 1999.

Today you can stumble into dozens restaurants around the world where that question made famous in an American commercial in the 80s — Where’s the beef? — takes on a whole new meaning. Most dark restaurants employ blind waiters, offer a single set menu, and ban anything that could give off light (like cigarettes, cell phones and cameras) from the dinning area. All of them also have normally lit bathrooms though you’ll need to ask your waiter for help in finding it.

Here’s our illuminating look at some of the world’s dark restaurants:

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The Hotel That WAS Above Paris

Staying at the Hotel Everland feels like spending the night in a 1970s shagadelic bachelor pad.

There aren’t many hotels that might have traveled more around Europe than its guests. Then again there’s no hotel like the one-room Everland.

This pre-fab capsule, designed by a pair of Swiss artists who cryptically go by L/B (Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann), was built to be mobile. After stints at Zurich’s Expo.02, on the Shores of Lake Neuchatel in Switzerland, and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Leipzig, Germany the Everland is now atop the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. At its current location this hotel might have the best Eiffel Tower view of any in the city.

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