There is a restaurant called Eat on Meserole Avenue in Greenpoint , Brooklyn , once a week , hold 90 -minute dinner where customers eat in complete silence . Several years ago , the owner of the restaurant who spent several months in a Buddhist monastery in India . It spawned the intention of having restaurant customers to eat in silence to reflect on each piece of food consumed .
When I read an article about it that my friend sent to me , I said , " Oh , good ! It's the end of the world . " However , I was fascinated . I asked my roommate , Suzy , to come unto me , that made the reservation by email to the owner / chef of the restaurant , and the requirement to give him our order ahead of time .
The restaurant was between Meserole down a very quiet patch of the building . Looking at the big front window , I saw hanging Lanterns , white walls , and wood fixtures . Overhead door is steel , welded in cursive and spelling Eat . It felt like the designer was either googled " literally outlandish , " or unable to sleep for a week , and watched nothing but the DVD menu for Big Fish . It looked stunning , though .
Out , waited a little crowd to go on , and we realized there was a news crew there . I walked up the middle - aged woman who appeared to be affiliated with them .
" Are you here for dinner silent ? " I asked . " I 'm not . I'ma journalist , " he said . His accent was heavy , either Russian or Eastern Europe . " Reporting on quiet dinner ? " I asked . " No, " he said . " OK , " I said . " Well , yes I am here for quiet dinner . Yet I'm a journalist. " I nodded , and Suzy asked who he was . " He was a journalist , " I said .
Greeted us at the door of the head chef after being interviewed by the news crew . He smiled a lot, shaking our hands as we walked in the restaurant was small, with three two - person tables set against a wall , and two large tables , with seats for about ten per one against the other. Played reggae music as we sat at the end of the big table closest to the kitchen . For about 20 minutes before starting the actual silence , we are allowed to , or I guess encouraged , to talk amongst ourselves and get quickly familiar with the people around us . We learned that most of our tables are made up of journalists . The news crew remained at the entrance to the restaurant , shining hot , blinding lights to all of us, loud snap pictures . There was talk that the crew is Estonian , and someone mentioned Al Jazeera TV .
The man at the table next to me was also a journalist , and asked me why I was there , and if he could get my impressions after dinner . I told him I was writing something about it , but then realized I should not have even told him that . A woman across the table wearing a turtleneck , Wendy Crewson seem The Good Son ( and also the wife of the journalist next to me ) , clearly overheard me say I was writing something, and asked me who it was is for . My face felt hot from the lights of the camera .
" Can not I write anything , " I said quickly .
" Oh ... So here you just then? " " Yes , " I said . He looked confused , but nodded , turning on the distance . " Why are you not telling the truth ? " Suzy asked . " I have no idea . "
A man in his early twenties and a much older woman joined our table , which causes temporary seating rearrangement. They also sound vaguely Eastern Europe . I assumed they were mother and son , but when they started making out , I realized I do not know anything . Obviously - not - mother - and -son began taking selfies soon after . " I'm excited to be silent , " said Suzy watching them .
We were told by the head chef how happy he was to continue the experiment . He mentioned how quiet dinner in the past , people waited for the others to serve , which is not necessary , but he still found it " heartening " . When he added the vegan chocolate ice cream dessert wine vinaigrette had it , the Not Not Mother Mother and Son isolated raised his hand . " We can not have alcohol , " he said loudly . " This is just a dressing , " he said after a pause . Then , no one even asks , the chef assured us that vegan chocolate ice cream is " just as rich " as regular ice cream , and chuckled to himself .
After pep talk the chef , the music stopped , we were asked us to put our phones away , potentially Estonian news crew was asked to leave , and silence ate up the room . The four course meal was brought out , one by one , by the head chef , and one of the other three employees ( all three women ) . Suzy and I opted for the seafood route over vegetarian . Butternut squash soup , salad , fish , and chocolate ice cream . Both the chef and the other server maintained a slightly affected peace throughout dinner . I can not decide if they are on par with a very committed actor haunted hayride , or if they really believe in it .
While the overpriced food was not anything life affirming , it 's kind of great to eat alone . For maybe fifteen minutes , I drank gluten- free Kool - Aid , and it began getting attention . I was very much present today , I thought to myself as I ate salad that I probably would have bought at 7 - Eleven . I feel ignorant staring at other people . In fact , I felt like it was necessary . Several times , while chewing stale bread , I purposefully locked eyes with someone across the room seem an inventor , and everything felt like it was in its proper place . We shared all of this ! I thought .
My Zen is spoiled , however , when we started focusing Woman turtleneck me wordless conversation from around the table . Should she forgive me for my unnecessary deception earlier, because he kept pointing things out to me that going to our table , and around the room , and shrugging . I never figured out what he wanted me to look at , but I gave her anyway knowing nods . After a few minutes of pretending to understand turtleneck Woman , with the clinking of silverware and throat - clearing echoing off every wall , the room started to collapse on me . I felt like I was coming in from a blackout , and became the most terrifying restaurant , Sierra - Instagram filter picture ever .
The journalist next to me refused to get his picture taken by a photographer walked up to our table . Di - Children in Hindi - Mother - and - Child Some gestured at me and smiled , pretending to hold a camera and take pictures / get the picture . He made the peace sign , took a small pumpkin from the table to pose with it , and laughed and laughed quietly . At that moment , I was completely confident that this will be the place where I die .
Behind a small curtain , the other employees in the kitchen preparing the meal in silence as well , including both calm look on their faces . It seems like they are not actually making the food , but just be shaking salt and pepper to be already turned pots of soup , just like Di - Children and turned his camera . I wondered if I would even eat food , that maybe it was all just became nap dream , and I wake up sweaty and disoriented , but safe in my bed on a Sunday afternoon where I would think , that is a shitty dream and then google Flo , the Progressive Girl net worth view .
When everyone was done eating , head chef quietly ended by thanking us . Has someone started clapping , which quickly erupted into a restaurant - wide applause , including news crew . The other chef in the kitchen hand slapped each other and pumped their elbows back , hissing " YES " with their eyes closed . It 's time to go .
I got up to get some money at an ATM on the street , so we can pay the bill and leave the restaurant forever . On my way out the door , a reporter from the film crew stopped me to ask if I had just eaten dinner .
" No , sorry , " I said .