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Ethical Eating

Eat Blindfolded: "Lights Out" Dinners for Charity

We eat for many reasons: Celebration, sorrow, greed and even addiction. Yet this week is a rare
opportunity to put your taste buds to the test and ensure your latest meal goes further than your hips.

Restaurants in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties will host "Lights Out" dinners benefitting Stand Among Friends. Diners will be blindfolded and served a prix-fixe meal. It's a chance find out what it's like to not have you eyesight, and to gauge the precision of your palate. The local nonprofit, which began in 1997, provides a variety of services to more than 600 disabled people annually. Among them are employment training and evaluations, lessons in American Sign Language and technology training.

The event is also the first project Stand Among Friends is undertaking with Ability Explosion under its wing. The group focuses on creating events that shed light on the challenges facing the disabled community. Lights Out is a personal project for Ability Explosion founder David New, who himself is visually impaired.

So what about the food? Lights out will take place today (Oct. 17) at Dapur Kitchen in Fort Lauderdale, Friday (Oct. 18) at Rosso Italia in Boca Raton and on Oct. 24 at Red, The Steakhouse on Miami Beach. Individual tickets are available at $85 each, or you can go all in for the six-seat family sponsorship for $1,000. Register here.

We received advanced copies of the menus for Dapur and Rosso, but aren't going to spoil the surprise. Here's a little amuse-bouche to whet your palate:

At Dapur you might be able to identify the shrimp martini during one of the later courses. Tiger prawns will be wrapped in rice paper and served with a pineapple-peach chutney. Keep your taste buds peeled for that sweet topping.

Meanwhile, at Rosso you might run into an arancini. You'll know it when you bite into a crispy sphere of fried risotto with hints of fontina cheese, lemon and chilil aioli.

It's a good challenge for a good cause.

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Zachary Fagenson is the restaurant critic for Miami New Times, and proud to report a cholesterol level of 172.
Contact: Zachary Fagenson

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