It is no trade secret that I love dining out, but there is a part of that experience that I don't disclose often and its that I'm just as much a sucker for the setting as I am the food. I am not a design snob, because I can appreciate collected kitsch in beer joints as much as designer décor in Michelin-starred bistros. Restaurant design and setting does thrill and interest me though, truly, it does. I do indeed tend to take in the surroundings almost as much as the savories when I eat out. When restaurateurs and businesses are telling the individual stories of their establishments, the look of it can help tell the tale as much as the food. I remember when I was caught up in the celebrity theme restaurant craze of the 90's, mostly due to the experience they sold and back then to me, I reluctantly admit, the food was an afterthought to the whole "wow" of it.
I was just beside myself to sit in a Planet Hollywood dining room with Herbie the Love Bug suspended over my head...I mean, the place just spoke to my movie buff side and what if Bruce Willis just appeared onstage and started wailing on his harmonica? I hit them all...Hard Rock Café and House of Blues among them. I even promised myself I would hit Steven Spielberg's submarine-themed eatery Dive! before I realized it would only be open for about five minutes. I got over that wide-eyed theme restaurant wonder for the most part, but that doesn't mean I don't occasionally get suckered right back in...don't think I'm not way excited to have a Butterbeer at the Harry Potter theme park in Orlando when we go in November. I still have great appreciation for the dining environment as well as the menu....this side (but connected) obsession of mine has included everything form the hilarious trailer-park aesthetic of Hillbilly Hot Dogs in West Virginia to the sleekest of eateries in Vegas these past few years.
So, when a friend of mine gave me the head's up to these aerial dining experiences called Dinner In The Sky, I was more than a little bit intrigued. This company puts on events all over the world where 22 guests at a time are suspended in the air and share a one-of-a-kind gastronomic experience hosted by a chef, server and entertainer. Imagine a moonlight dinner over Istanbul, Paris, Monaco or even Vegas and the Grand Canyon; this company has done them all. Talk about unique settings, too...these are views unlike anything else. Fear of heights would make these dinners difficult, but wow, does this look amazing. Check out the Dinner In The Sky website and check out some of the truly gobsmacking events they've put on.
At my advancing age, the question must be asked, though....how does one visit the loo at these aerial shindigs? Where is the loo exactly? Is there a loo? Do they just tell the diners to wait until they are over water and then just let it flow? Provide designer Depends? If they are serving so much as a thimble of wine at these dinners, there had better be at least a Porta-Potty under those tables.....