Shhhh, NYC restaurant is serving up silent dinners

Los Angeles TimesOctober 15, 2013 

A New York City restaurant has the food world talking about its silent dinners.

Eat, in the trendy Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, has begun hosting silent dinners, where everyone – from the chefs to the wait staff to the diners – remains absolutely quiet while inside the restaurant’s four walls.

And so far, the recently launched service has been a hit.

“It’s an opportunity to just have a space and a time where people can come and enjoy a meal,” chef Lauren O’Connor told The Times. “It’s about not really needing anything but being there, and being in the space and realizing the uniqueness of the space and the really great elements about the space.”

Eat is a farm-to-table restaurant where everything – even the olive oil, vinegar and spices – is locally sourced.

To date, the dinners have been for an RSVP crowd that knows the drill going in. Meals are a preselected four-course affair. Diners note their order on a card – “S” for seafood, or “V” for vegetarian – and the cards are turned over to the kitchen. Everything else is figured out via pantomime.

“You might have someone put their hand up (to signal ‘no’ to dessert),” she said.

She added: “I think it appeals to people to experience an ‘intentional focus experience.’ Everyone is together involved in the silence. There are large communal tables. Everyone is actually eating together. You look around, you close your eyes, whatever you choose to do, there’s no right or wrong way to do it.”

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