Dining in the Dark in Zurich $$
By Debra Amundson,

Blind Kuh Restaurant in Zurich
Blindekuh Restaurant in Zurich

The Blind Cow Restaurant will open your eyes; you’ll be kept in the dark after that.

Zurich’s Blindekuh, (Blind Cow), restaurant is staffed almost entirely by the blind, waitresses, bartenders and all but one cook included.

The Blindekuh was the brain child of 4 blind artists. Stefan Zappa, Thomas Hoss, Jurg Spielman and Andrea Bloaser met at an exhibition – Dialogue in Dunkeln, (Dialogue in the Dark), an exhibit in Zurich in 1998. There were 4 rooms in the dark each based on a different theme.

The exhibit was so popular the Blindekuh was launched. “Our intention was to create a working place for the visually challenged and to make possible a unique experience for the sighted”, says Spielman, one of the four artists.

Opened by an organization dedicated to the blind, and sight impaired, they have been so successful with their “dining in the dark” theme a second restaurant was recently opened in Basel, ( Dornacherstrasse 192, 4053 Basel, Switzerland. 061-336-33-00).

All hand held items and anything that glows, like watches and cell phones, are checked at the door. Orders are placed in the well lit lobby from the 3 item menu. Meat, fish or vegetarian are the usual choices.

I recommend desert, ala cart, chocolate tastes even better in the dark. Your waitperson disappears and returns to the lobby for you when your table and meal are ready. There is no lingering over the menu at the table here.

Most everyone speaks a little English. The bells you hear are tied to the feet of the waitresses so they can hear each other. You are asked not to wander, or smoke.

You are lead, single file, down a progressively darkened hallway so your eyes can gradually adjust. Seated in the darkest room you’ll never see, the table lay out is explained, and dinner is served. My fork made it to my mouth most of the time but was frequently empty on arrival.

It is a bit loud, presumably from everyone compensating for lack of vision. You do need to shout for your waitperson. The food is delicious and you find you do less talking, and more eating, when you are also trying to find your mouth.

They have a bar with music and cultural events. The room is also leased for special training and seminars, all in the dark. Imagine anger management with the lights out.

While copycats may not be able to duplicate the atmosphere originated at the Blindekuh in Zurich some of the top travel cities in the world are now being tested for their response to what seems to be the latest rage in dining trends. Paris, Cologne, New York, Montreal, Moscow, Sydney, London, Los Angeles and soon San Francisco are on the menu and they are drinking in the dark in Berlin.

Speaking for the wonder of the originator, you will see things differently after you leave the Blindekuh. It is an experience not to be missed.
Reservations are recommended and children are welcome.

If You Go

Muhlebachstrasse 148
8008 Zurich

phone: 044-421-50-50
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