My Birthday Dinner. I have a birthday coming up so have been putting together my virtual “wish-list” of Birthday Dinner Party possibilities. Here are my top three contenders:

1. Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Maldives
I think it would be fun to dine 16 feet below sea level at the Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa’s unique eatery that is situated five metres under water in the Indian Ocean. This spectacular Maldives restaurant is the world’s only all-glass undersea restaurant and cost $5 million to build. We could sip champagne cocktails and try the 23-course long tasting menu ($250), featuring Maldivian-Western fusion cuisine. Although I think it would be mean to order seafood, with all the fish watching you eat their relatives.

2. Or I could go the other extreme and do a Dinner in the Sky is a Brussels-based restaurant.
It serves dinner for up to 22 people… dangling 150 feet in the air from a very large (and hopefully sturdy) crane. Brussels-based company Dinner in the Sky is offering diners heavenly dinners by dangling their table a couple hundred feet in the air from a very large crane. The airy concept is based on an idea. According to Dinner in the Sky organizer David Ghysels, Dinner in the Sky is mobile, serving international cuisine all across Europe, with prices starting around $10,700, not including food and drink. Hmmm-still too small and with all the wine my friends drink- the “I don’t see any bathroom” could present a problem.

3. In this case a picture would not do it justice:)
Dans le Noir? (In the Dark)
I’m all for romantic candlelight–although sometimes it’s almost impossible to read the menu… but Dans Le Noir takes it one step further. Here, one dines in complete total pitch-darkness! They even offer a surprise menu, where diners do not actually know what they are going to eat.

Dans Le Noir founders Edouard de Broglie and Etienne Boisrond believe that the act of consuming food becomes more satisfying when you’re relying on senses other than sight. Their website explains their philosophy as follows:

• Sensory experience
Dans le Noir? Allows you to completely reevaluate the notion of taste. Without sight, other senses are offered a new sensation and emotions. Darkness leads to truthfulness about taste, kills preconceptions and let you face the realities of ingredients and cuisine. Our chef elaborates a refined and sensorial cuisine with fresh ingredients to help our senses to enjoy the “truth” taste of food.

• True conviviality
Dining in the total darkness represents a very unusual social experience. How many times have you ever had the chance to talk to people without any preconception that sight implies?

At Dans le Noir? There is no more pressure of other peoples visual judgment. You talk more freely and spontaneously. The absence of vision changes completely the way you act and react, both emotionally and socially. That’s why Dans le Noir? is far more than just a restaurant: it offers a social and convivial experience. Dans le Noir? raises some questions such as the role of sight in the way we relate to others.

• Empathy
In the dark room, you are guided and served by our blind staff. A magic switch between sighted and blind people happens. For once, blind people actually become your eyes. This reversal of roles implies a transfer of trust from the sighted person to the blind guide because without him we are just lost. Who actually feels the most Dans le Noir??
The experience is emotionally strong and this empathy really encourages mutual trust and respect.

(Editor’s Note: This is a case, literally, of the blind leadng the blind.)