What’s all this about, butler, this dinner party?

You guys. I just hosted an awesome dinner party. And even though not all the food was super-healthy, I want to share it here… because, sometimes, you just gotta savor the indulgences.

Have you ever heard of Opaque? It’s a restaurant that offers a ‘blind dining’ experience — you sit down and eat in total darkness. ¬†Since you’re deprived of sight, your other senses are heightened. Sounds like an adventure, right?

Back in April, my very awesome friend Bec (who was also my riding partner for the Death Valley century ride) decided to create something like this herself by preparing a 10-course vegetarian tasting menu and serving four of us in her home. She’d heard that Opaque was overpriced and the food wasn’t that great, plus menu options are often somewhat limited for her because she’s a pescatarian. So she decided to do it right – complete with a cheese plate and a little take-home pastry – Michelin-star restaurant style, all the way.

I was inspired. I felt it was such a great meal, and such an interesting, unique and fun dining experience that I wanted to offer it to her (and her boyfriend, who couldn’t attend the one that she hosted, and some other beloved foodie friends). Two words for you:

EPIC WIN.

I really enjoyed putting this menu together,  and making and serving this food. It was also great listening to them guess at ingredients and discuss what they were noticing as a result of being without sight. Check it out!

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The stage is set. Scarf blindfolds in a darkened room, differently-textured cups for water and wine.

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Amuse-bouche: tuna tartare.

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1st course: caprese. No real recipe, but I used this as inspiration for the balsamic reduction.

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2nd course: eggplant dirty rice.

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3rd course: silky cauliflower soup. I added pecans.

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Dessert: honey thyme custard with raspberries.

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My beautiful friends, looking a little like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles here.

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Take-home: they left with these “chocolate chubbies.” I guess that’s what you call something that is kind of a cookie, but kind of a brownie.

Not gonna lie – feelin’ very accomplished! Now for some well-earned zzzzzzzs. :)

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