Opaque - Dining In The Dark
689 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102Neighborhood:
Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
AmericanPrice: $50 and over
Opaque - Dining In The Dark
- Dining Style: Fine Dining
- Website: http://www.darkdining.com/
- Phone: 8007101270
- Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Wednesday - Saturday: 6:30pm - 11:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: American, Californian
- Executive Chef: Michael Whang
- Dress Code: Smart Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Private Room, Wine
- Private Party Facilities: Opaque - dining in the dark offers it's unique concept to private groups. Dining in the dark is a culinary adventure which enhances your senses and explores a new sensitivity. All waiters are legally blind and guide guests through a one of a kind experience which is revealing and eye opening.
- Private Party Contact: Ben Uphues 3108954217
- Special Events: We offer the dining in the dark experience for group bookings on-site, or off site on any day per individual booking
A word from Opaque - Dining In The Dark
Imagine that you are recognizing friends by their voice, sounds tell a story, aromas come alive and elegance is felt. In this era of information overload, visual stimulation has reached an all time pinnacle. But imagine, just for an hour or two that you cannot see, that you are abandoning vision in exchange for a new, more stimulating dining experience – this is “Dining in the Dark”. Opaque - Dining in the Dark – will seat you in a literally pitch-black dining room where you will be guided and served by blind or visually impaired individuals that have been specially trained to serve meals in the dark, casually and comfortably offering guidance and reassurance for sighted guests.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
- Diners' Choice WinnerSpecial Occasion
Opaque - Dining In The Dark - Best Restaurants in Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness ›
Opaque - Dining In The Dark reviews from OpenTable diners
54 reviews since May 21, 2014
- Ambiance4.7Noise LevelModerate
special occasion (41)romantic (28)fit for foodies (11)hot spot (9)neighborhood gem (8)good for groups (8)late-night find (4)great for outdoor dining (2)scenic view (2)great for lunch (1)kid-friendly (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
- Dining in the dark, group of four!Luv2danceDined on 4/5/2014This was an amazing experience for all four of us! The restaurant was exceptionally accommodating to my friend that is a very picky eater. The waiter was amazing and attentive. The food was outstanding, and not one of us had a complaint. The price is high, but the experience was wonderful. Even though the piece is high, I would recommend it to anyone to try it at least once.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Dining in the Dark, Ehh not so muchOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 3/29/2014We planned this event with a group of 7. Once there, it seemed the host was a bit confused her self. The bartender did not know how to make any drinks, just order a beer. Once we were showed to our table, the service is very slow. We had a a group and were told we were too loud, which I thought was very rude. You're a dining experience restaurant, with a group paying $99 pp or more what else did you expect? Double check your bill, they over charge, when we called the restaurant back, we were told it was our problem, they delivered the drinks, its up to us to make sure we find it at the table (hello, its in the dark!) definetly a 1 time place, not for repeat occassions.Special Features:
- Dining in the dark opened my eyes!jacobDined on 3/29/2014Katy, our server saw to our every need. She was so nice the entire time and made sure we were comfortable. We had a wonderful meal, and an amazing experience eating in total darkness. After around 10 minutes, I felt totally adjusted and just enjoyed the evening. I had the "mystery" meal, and it was really fun. I would recommend this to anyone that wants to have a fun and adventurous evening with the ability to really just relax and talk with your spouse or friend. AMAZINGSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Go for the experience, not the foodDGSFDined on 3/28/2014Very cool idea for a dinning experience. The model is smart and it gives opportunity for the visually impaired. That being said, the food was subpar and near tasteless. The ahi tuna was the only tasty item. The main course of pork was editable but nothing to make the taste buds sing. The dessert was so so. Katie, our waitress, was great. Very helpful and pleasant, that was the upside of the evening. I would only return if they worked on their menu items and bolstered the favors! Honestly, not worth the $99 per person.
- Bad food, good expierenceOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 3/27/2014It was a one time expire mad, which we enjoyed. However , the food was bland , and the service sucked. They had 4 cocktails to choose from and they made the same one wrong 3 times. I am glad I went once, but in the end I regret how much I paid.Special Features:
- It was an unusual and funSanFranGirlDined on 3/27/2014It was an unusual and fun adventure to dine at Opaque and the food was wonderful. We took our own wine as their corkage fee is very reasonable at $10. Food came out timely, our waitress was terrific and we had no "accidents". The hostess has zero personality, but don't let that deter you.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Unique ExperienceEmzie25Dined on 3/22/2014I will remember this dinner for a long time! Pros: Unique experience, good food, good cause, catered well to my boyfriends gluten free diet Cons: Expensive, nerve racking I would recommend going in a small group and with someone you are comfortable with! I was a bit more nervous than I anticipated and being able to hold my boyfriends hand was very comforting! It is truly completely dark, don't expect to be able to see a thing! I would also recommend the "mystery" option for food. I think the experience of putting something in your mouth without being able to see it or knowing what it is was incredible!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- This was an awesome Experience.....WolfpackDined on 3/22/2014Katie, our server was so amazing.......All of the servers there are blind. The food was sooo delicious. It's very hard to eat with a fork, when it's pitch black. Needless to say, we ate with our hands. It was an experience we will never forget. We had a group of 4 with us, celebrating a friends birthday. It couldn't have been more perfect. The only thing that was a shocker, is when we got the bill. Was not expecting to pay that much.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- What an experience!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 3/22/2014It takes some getting used to at first being in pitch blackness. I felt like the walls were closing in on me but after I tried to focus on the sounds I was able to relax a little bit. My bf on the other hand did not ever really relax and was not comfortable the entire time. PTSD also didn't help either. I think we had to wait a little too long after we were finished to get the check. Overall it was a different experience that I would recommend to others.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Mood and food enhancingOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 3/21/2014Our party of 4 went in blind (figuratively) and came out enlightened. Dining in the dark with "mystery meals" made every bite an adventure, from hunting every portion with your fork, mis-buttering the bread to smelling and tasting every mouthful to it's fullest. A grand time was had by all with plans to try to re-create the adventure at home for friends and family. I've a new appreciation for how to employ other senses to every bite of food but also a peek into the world of those living without the help of visual stimuli. I would like everyone I know to spend some time at Opaque, except my Mom, I'm not sure she would"get it"! Many thanks to all of them at Opaque and especially George our waiter. Andy LeBlancSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amaizing experienceKikisDined on 3/20/2014A must try for those that like adventure... Select the mystery menu for a pleasant surprise and guessing the food you are eating is fun too! Pretty interesting what happens when you only have taste and smell to rely on while eating. Definitely recommended.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- you've got to try thisdarkdinerDined on 3/19/2014Saw opaque on one of those 10 strangest restaurant shows and knew we had to try it. My boyfriend and I opted for the mystery dinner and except for the dessert and salad courses we were stumped as to what we were eating. Food was amazing and our server Jennifer was very attentive, amazing considering she's blind!! Definitely go with someone you are comfortable with and keep an open mind. Best and most unique dining experience ever.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Stay awayOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 3/15/2014Please, it's hype. Food was barely edible. Person taking orders was unprofessional. It was like a middle school spaghetti feed with blindfolds for $300/2 people. Please stay away and save your money.
- Memorable experience!MelemDined on 3/13/2014My experience at Opaque was unique and memorable! The service is excellent and the staff makes you feel comfortable all the way from reservation to paying your bill. I recommend going with a small group (I went with one other person), as it's nice to have the more focused conversation. The service outpaces the food, which was OK. Though the focus of the evening truly is around the experience, more so than the food itself! Definitely worth checking out with someone special!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- An interesting experienceOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 3/12/2014The food was delicious-although I couldn't see what it looked like or finish everything on my plate due to the pitch darkness inside the restaurant. I went with the boyfriend to experience dining in the dark because a lot of my friends have been talking about it. It's a bit pricey but you're paying for the experience, the great staff, and pretty good 3-course dinner.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great restaurant!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 3/12/2014Opaque offers a unique experience that you won't find anywhere else! The food is very delicious. We had an excellent waitress- Mocha. <3Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- UniquePuhleepDined on 3/8/2014Very unique experience, fun, intriguing. Our food was outstanding.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DINING IN THE DARK WAS AWESOME!!WAGONDUDEDined on 3/1/2014my wife and I had the pleasure to dine at OPAQUE last weekend and it was a great time!! eating dinner in the pitch black sounded like a cool and fun idea but let me tell you it was that and more.. I'm not gonna lie it was very different for the first 10 minutes or so getting used to the idea that you can see NOTHING but then after we got our bearings a little it was a night like no other.. the food at opaque was great and the service was spot on!! also the open table reservations worked exactly as they should, I loved the confirmation text a few hours before thank you!! do yourself a favor and try this, you will thank yourself after...Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Unique and memorable experienceOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 3/1/2014We had an exceptional experience. We dined here this week with our 14 year old son and 10 year old daughter. I was very nervous. The dining room is pitch black and it made me feel very vulnerable. Our blind waiter, George, was wonderful. He made us feel comfortable. He was very attentive, patient and explained everything well verbally so we could communicate in the dark. The food was tasty. The unique experience is worth the price tag and we would recommend this restaurant to families with older children looking to share a bonding experience and a memorable dinner.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Intriguing ExprienceOutlanderDined on 2/26/2014It is truly ptich black and one gets an idea of what it's like to be blind. The food was very good, but the concept and execution made the evening. We were led to out table via touch by a very plesant and helpful waitress. The food was very good and we selected our meal prior to entering. Each meal was delivered to us via name, which we identified to the waitress when we were seated. All in all, good food and quite an experience.Special Features:
- great to try at least once!OpenTable Diner Since 2003Dined on 2/26/2014Great for couples to help you to learn to listen to each other and work together! Ahi tuna was EXCELLENT. Beef tenderloin was cooked as requested and tasty. I had the mystery entree which turned out to be pork chops and it was super juicy and not dry at all. The chocolate cake was yum and you can tell the items were nicely plated even in the dark. Only thing is dinner is quite pricey per person despite the food being good. Would recommend people to try this at least once but likely too pricey for me to try again unless for another special occasion.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Interesting ExperienceLarryDined on 2/20/2014The $100/each price tag is worth the one of a kind experience, but would not bring me back for seconds.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- MUST TRY!OpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 2/15/2014Must try! A very fun place for couples who want to try dining together and enjoy a meal in pure darkness. You really do rely on other senses to make this work. Food was excellent. We both had the "mystery 3 course dinner". Was very fun trying to figure out what we were eating.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Cool Experience, Food OKMzjablonskiDined on 2/14/2014I seem to have experienced what many others have at this restaurant- you are paying for the experience, not the food. It was super cool and took some getting used to, and really made you use your senses...but the food was so-so. It was good, but for $300 in San Francisco my expectations are much higher in terms of quality...I'm a vegetarian and got the 'mystery' dishes- a good green bean and tomato salad, so-so couscous and vegetables, and chocolate cake with whipped cream (not that great honestly). Our server was amazing, and overall it was a one of a kind experience, but I probably won't go back just because it's a car payment and the food is very overpriced.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- So much fun!!!BH1287Dined on 1/30/2014You would think that eating in the dark would be strange and uncomfortable. After two to three minutes of adjustment, everything was fine. Courtney was our server and she was amazing! She did everything possible to make our group of three people feel comfortable and enjoy our dinner. The food was spectacular, the drinks were amazing, and the lack of sight only made everything taste better. If you are looking for something special for an occasion, wanting to hang out with a good friend, or just feeling adventerous...come to Opaque! You won't regret itSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- amazing experienceJennyDined on 1/22/2014Its a different experience. If you never had been at a restaurant like this you should try it. The food was good but too limited. I think a little expensive.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing!JenNJeffDined on 1/18/2014Loved everything about dining at the Opaque. Only thing is, I wish it was cheaper so I could bring everyone I know to experience it! The food was excellent ! I think my taste buds were a little heightened because of the complete darkness and I feel like food has never tasted better!! :) I suggest getting the mystery dishes and just tell the waiter/ waitress what you don't like.. It a lot of fun this way ;) I hope I can experience this again some day!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Unique experienceOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 1/16/2014This was such a fun and unique way to spend time with someone.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Definitely a different experienceOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 1/16/2014This is a place that everyone (who has a sense of a humor and can laugh at themselves) should try once. Very pleased with my experience. Our waitress, Courtney, was perfect. She was fast, friendly, vibrant and never missed a beat. I definitely have, and will continue to, recommend Opaque to my friends. I probably won't be back, since I feel it won't be the sane a second time. However I will continue to tell people about it and hopefully my enthusiasm will convince them it's worth their time.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great concept, not great foodColastrawberryDined on 1/15/2014I expected some experimentation with texture & flavour to complement the blind dining experience, but the food was below average fare. Starters were bland salads, followed by lukewarm mains & a "mystery" dessert that turned out to be three scoops of ice-cream. Neither imaginative nor particularly good. No coffees etc were offered after dinner. Also, menu prices online are incorrect - was told it would be $75 per person, when it was $90. Given the food, this is pretty outrageous. When I went to pay the bill, change wasn't even offered. Obviously I would tip the servers, but the presumption & lack of effort to even offer my change was irritating. Though the idea is super & is a nice anecdote, it proved very disappointing.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- AMAZING EXPERIENCE!!!!!!OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 1/10/2014Walking into Opaque I must say I was a little nervous about dining in the dark. However I was quickly put at ease by the great hostess explaining the process and preparing us for our dinner. Once George, our waiter, came and brought us to our seats I was completely at ease. He was very calm and patient with us & explained how he would be serving our meals so that we were prepared for each serving. The food was excellent, the wine was delicious, and the service was way beyond my expectations. George was the only server working that night and I think there was about 6 tables while we were there. George was the most patient, courteous, and comforting server I have ever had. Will definitely be back & recommend Opaque to all my friends.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A Unique ExperienceMomAsAFoodCriticDined on 12/26/2013Fantastic Experience! Eating in pitch dark is totally different--I ordered the "surpise" appetizer and dessert (after confirming it wasn't escargot!) and it was particularly fun to figure out what it was. My biggest revelation was that I felt full much more quickly than I would have if I could have seen what I was eating because I wasn't aware of how much I ate or how much was left, I only knew how I felt.Special Features:
- Definitely dark!atinneyDined on 12/14/2013I didn't do my homework when selecting this as a dinner option - which almost made it better in some ways. If you are claustrophobic, afraid of the dark, or just generally like an easy dining experience, this is not for you. If you like being pushed out of your comfort zone, definitely do this. Some things that I found difficult (& therefore hilarious): Trying to share food (unless you stick your finger in the other person's mouth to find it, better to let them stick their hands in your food else you'll end up shoving chocolate cake up their nose like I did). Buttering bread, no idea how much butter I put on or where exactly it went. Using a fork, 50/50 on whether you end up with nothing on your fork by the time it hits your face.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A must in the cityOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 12/5/2013This is truly a bucket list place! I had a wonderful time and can't wait to bring people back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing experienceRose81Dined on 11/30/2013Omg!! This had to be the best, new, exciting and not your typical dining experience for sure but a such a great way. This is an experience you dont want to miss out on. I took my boyfriend for his birthday and he said that this birthday topped all the rest. It really makes you appreciate the food and the environment and literally its pitch black you cant see a thing but enjoy the space your in. Such an awesome experience i couldnt stop talking about it to my friends and I highly recommend it for anyone seeking a new experience while dining.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Eye opening experienceOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 11/29/2013Trully a unique experience to dine in complete darkness. Eventhough we can't see the plating of the dishes, it hightens our other senses and imagination. The food was excellent especially with the "mystery" dishes on the menu. Service was superb. Definitely a one of a kind concept of dining.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Dining in the dark - literally!ConnoisseurSFDined on 11/27/2013Ambience: Since it is dark, you focus on what you are eating. Things do taste different and more pronounced as you get accustomed to the darkness. The noise levels are energetic since people cannot measure distance and end up talking louder. It is pitch dark and you cannot see a thing. We used the clock as a reference to say where our glass was located etc. Service: Our waitress was amazing. She was very deft and very experienced. She guided us through everything, including process for handing over finished plates etc. Blind & Beautiful Food: Not the greatest. We are vegetarians and having been in SF for a while, have gotten used to getting great food. We had 4 courses (incl amuse bouche). No details since it is part of the mystery.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Blind DiningChowhoundVIPDined on 11/22/2013An interesting concept, but, In a nutshell, it's not worth the trouble. The food was very ordinary, nothing special at all. The pitch black dining was supposed to enhance the enjoyment of the food, but frankly, all it did was make my fingers sticky and get food on my tie. The staff there was really good though, always at-the-ready to be helpful. We won't be going back.
- One of a kind experience!Foodie4LifeDined on 11/21/2013The experience was awesome! The food was good and service was great! Courtney was a great server! I would definitely recommend this dining experience to everyone to try at least one time in their lifetime :)Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A great experience. DefinitelyOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 11/16/2013A great experience. Definitely enjoyed the Mystery Options! Definitely worth trying at least once!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.