Chef David Burke has cooked up a culinary five-course guided sensory experience.
Burke, who loves to play with food and push boundaries of the dining experience, recently promoted his new series, “Dinner in the Dark by David Burke,” at the Red Horse by David Burke in Rumson and THE GOAT by David Burke in Union Beach.
The first three seatings of the series have been sellouts.
Upcoming dinners are scheduled for July 12 at Red Horse (a few tickets are still available); July 28 at THE GOAT; and Wednesday, Aug. 9, at Red Horse. Reservations are required.
Each dinner delights and surprises blindfolded diners guided by Burke and his team through a five-course “secret” menu paired with one signature cocktail, one glass of champagne, wines from notable regions. Burke is on-hand with an “edu-taining” narrative throughout the experience.
One recent guest was the celebrated TV host of the Cooking Channel’s “Man vs Food,” Casey Webb, who said the dinner was an “eye-opening experience.”
“This was something very different and an overall fun experience,” Webb, a New Jersey native and Burke’s neighbor in Atlantic Highlands, said.
Webb attended an earlier “Dinner in the Dark” experience at Red Horse.
“Often, we are consumed by the surroundings and the chatter at a restaurant. But when one of your senses is taken away, you must tune into the others.”
According to Burke, his novel “Dining in the Dark” idea came to him in Morristown, where another of his New Jersey restaurants is located, as is the highly regarded Seeing Eye dog training program, whose mission is to train guide dogs that help blind people be more independent.
“My ‘Dinner in the Dark’ gets people to focus on their other senses, it’s fun, social and entertaining,” Burke explained. “People must rely on their touch, taste, smell and hearing. It brings another unique experience to our restaurants. Where else can you do this? We work hard to stay ahead of the curve, to keep our brand strong, fresh and respected. We are known for creating dining experiences that are fun and interesting.”
The New Jersey Wine Growers Association also partners with Burke on some of the dinners.
“It hit me that New Jersey wine pairings would make the ultimate ‘blind tasting’ against notable wine labels at my Dinner in the Dark series,” Burke said. “As a New Jersey native, I think it’s time to recognize the winemakers’ efforts. I support local when ‘local’ meets my expectations, just like our legendary Jersey tomatoes, peaches and corn are on my menus.”