De Kas—Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Via Restaurant Dekas
Anyone who owns a garden knows that nothing compares to making a meal with fresh produce you’ve grown yourself. Imagine a restaurant where the menu selections are prepared using the freshest possible ingredients, and by freshest, we mean harvested in the field at sunrise of the same day you are dining there. Welcome to De Kas, an old greenhouse in Amsterdam that was due to be demolished in 2001, but was saved by an ambitious Michelin star chef, Gert Jan Hageman, who converted the unique twenty six foot high glass building into a restaurant and nursery. Mediterranean vegetables, herbs and edible flowers are grown and harvested at the greenhouse and garden near the restaurant, and Hageman can be found in De Kas’ nursery daily, working the soil, planting, weeding and harvesting herbs and vegetables. Check out these things you should never order in a restaurant.
The Bubble Room—Captiva Island, Florida
Via Bubble Room Restaurant
Opened in 1979, this eclectic restaurant decorated with classic toys from the 1930s and 1940s started as a small one-room eatery, and today has grown into a multi-themed restaurant occupying all three stories of the house it originated in. Staff are known as “bubble scouts,” each wearing a different crazy hat. Moving trains are on all three floors and photographs of old-time movie scenes and stars adorn every available wall space. “It’s always Christmas at the Bubble Room” is a theme made evident by the presence of the many Father Christmases, the Elf Room, and year-round Christmas lights. Music from the 1920s to 1940s serves as the soundtrack for The Bubble Room, and the bright and cheerful pastel colors of the venue make it a near-hallucinatory experience. Favorites on the current menu are original items offered since the restaurant’s early days such as Socra cheese (a cheese served flamed tableside), Bubble Bread, and many of the colossal-sized desserts.
Via O'Noir Toronto
This novel experience certainly puts a new spin on the term “blind date.” Dining in the dark has been around for quite some time abroad, but the concept was only first introduced in Canada in 2006, with the opening of O.NOIR in Montreal and then a second location in Toronto in 2009. O.NOIR’s philosophy is that a diner’s enjoyment is amplified when his sight is eliminated as the other senses become heightened. Flashlights, cellphones, and luminous watches are prohibited from the dark dining establishment. The evening starts in a lit bar where guests place their orders; then they are led by a server into an unlit dining room, where a two-hour seated dinner service begins with servers explaining where everything is placed on the table.
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