Eyes Wide Shut- Appetites Open

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On September - 7 - 2011
Lights Out! City Hall  (7)

Miami Socialholics

Veteran restaurateur, Steve Haas along with acclaimed chef, Tom Azar invited guests to City Hall, Haas’ new bustling eatery on Biscayne Boulevard for Lights Out Miami– a night of dining in the dark last Wednesday, to benefit Ability Explosion, an organization dedicated to raising awareness and bettering the lives of individuals with disabilities. Risk-taking diners at City Hall got the chance for a sneak “peek” of the large scale benefit to take place on October 20 with over 100 participating venues. 

Dark dining guests had only the cocktail hour to take in the beauty of the 6, 000 square foot eatery, which reminds us so much of WPA, back in the halcyon days of South Beach and “Glory Days” of our youth.  Perhaps it’s the 80 foot-long art deco mural, created by artist Andrew Reid– who also created the floor-to-ceiling mural depicting FDR’s Works Progress Administration for WPA, (the restaurant), which we spent many a night admiring; or the dark walnut and black varnished wood tables and chairs, comfortable leather banquets, original art and Art Deco accents that create the chic ambience at City Hall and make us feel right at home. 

After the cocktail reception, each guest was blindfolded with a mask made by the same materials as a Victoria’s Secret push-up bra-turned-Batman mask and escorted upstairs by Steve Haas himself then served a three course, wine-paired mystery dinner. Before the adventure began, Haas assured his guests that all of the food would be from the menu selections of the restaurant- no “Fear Factor” surprises and implored them to keep their masks on throughout the entire meal to get the full experience- which we proudly obliged. 

City Hall’s friendly, specially-trained wait staff was extremely helpful in guiding diners through the event, showing them exactly where their plates, glasses and utensils were, and on occasion, escorting them to the restroom, for those die-hards who kept their masks on even for that! Judging from the heightened flavors of the delectable dishes, which included tuna tartare, skirt steak and fish (we think) and the din of laughter and conversation that filled the dining room, dining in the dark is an exciting way to enjoy a meal and bring people together for a unique experience. 

This, in the end, is Haas’ primary goal.  “We wanted to create a restaurant for Miami’s diverse communities to gather and to offer people a comfortable, cosmopolitan place to meet with friends for dinner or even step out for lunch during the workday and enjoy a great meal in a convivial atmosphere.” 

For more information and to purchase tickets to Lights Out on October 20, call Irene at 305.389.0009 or irene@abilityexplosion.org.

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