Written by Jonathan Brouillette on 14.10.14

Imagine a chocolate chip cookie. The kind that leaves melted chocolate on your fingers and just barely holds its shape. It’s right out of the oven, it smells divine, and when you finally let a big piece fall into your eager mouth, you close your eyes and enjoy that sweet perfection. O’Noir is like that, except you don’t get to open your eyes until you are done your meal.

O’Noir is an experience far from the regular. As a patrons, you are asked to arrive a little earlier than their reservation. You are guided inside into a dimly lit entrance area where you leave behind your cell phone or any other light-making device. Here, you make your order and have a drink while you wait for your legally blind waiter to come get you. Then the fun starts. Across a double curtain, your waiter will guide you through the pitch black restaurant to your table. It’s a freaky experience, but one that excites you with its novelty. As you sit and joke nervously with your tablemates, you will calm down gradually as the excellent wine or cocktail settles your nerves. And then the food arrives. If you jump half-way to the ceiling when the waiter calls your name from less than 2 feet away, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

But the food! That wonderful food. Wild mushrooms in a light mint vinaigrette topped with feta. Or the over-the-top salmon gravlax with gin and pink peppertrout. It’s no myth that when one sense is taken away, the others compensate. O’Noir lets you ‘see’ your food with your taste buds, and it is beautiful. The main courses are equally delicious with the crispy Cornish hen and chorizo or the melt in your mouth blue marlin steak. Do be warned though, you will quickly learn that a fork and knife are not as useful as your hands. Don’t be ashamed to eat caveman style: at least this way your shirt won’t be dirty when you leave.

O’Noir is an experience to remember. The quiet and unassuming facade hides within one of the coolest culinary adventures available in Montreal. It even lets you learn what it is like to be blind, but for a moment. It’s a double win: great food while building a social conscience.

Seatings start at 5:15pm and 8:30pm and meals cost $34 for two courses or $41 for three.

1631 Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, Montréal, QC H3H 1L8
(514) 937-9727

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