By: Jul. 16, 2023
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Among his numerous awards through the years, internationally awarded celebrity chef David Burke was named one of the “Top 50 R&D Culinarians” by Nations Restaurant News and “Culinary Prankster” by Time Out New York, in 2003Two decades later he is still playing with his food and pushing boundaries of the dining experience.

His latest creation?

“Dinner in the Dark by David Burke series at the Red Horse by David Burke, Rumson and THE GOAT by David Burke, Union Beach, is a unique, fun, five-course guided sensory experience. The first three dinners have been sell-outs.

The next Dinner in the Dark events are scheduled for Friday, July 28 at THE GOAT and August 9 at Red Horse. Reservations are required; ticket price and venue information are below.*

 Each dinner delights and surprises blind-folded diners guided by Burke and his team through a five-course "secret" menu paired with one signature cocktail, one glass of champagne, wines from notable regions. Burke is on-hand with an “edu-taining” narrative throughout the experience.

One recent delighted guest was the celebrated TV host of Cooking Channel “Man vs Food,” Casey Webb, who said the dinner was an “eye-opening experience.”

“This was something very different and an overall fun experience.,” said Webb - a New Jersey native and Burke’s neighbor in Atlantic Highlands. Webb attended an earlier “Dinner in the Dark” experience at Red Horse. “Often, we are consumed by the surroundings and the chatter at a restaurant. But when one of your senses is taken away you must tune into the others. The energy in the room at Red Horse was fun, playful, intimate, very social. We were all in the same boat with David steering the ship. We couldn’t see our food or beverages, but we knew it was all going to be great.”

According to Burke, his novel “Dining in the Dark” idea came to him when in Morristown where another of his New Jersey restaurants is located as is the highly regarded The Seeing Eye® dog training program, whose mission is to train guide dogs that help blind people be more independent.

“My ‘Dinner in the Dark’ gets people to focus on their other senses, it’s fun, social and entertaining,” he explained. “People must rely on their touch, taste, smell and hearing. It brings another unique experience to our restaurants. Where else can you do this? We work hard to stay ahead of the curve, to keep our brand strong, fresh and respected. We are known for creating dining experiences that are fun and interesting. Fifteen years ago, I started Burger Night, now just about every restaurant in the nation has a burger night. About 100 people have attended the sold-out dinners so far and have absolutely loved it. This one’s a deal too; for $85 or $100 you get five courses with five drinks and a unique experience.”

Earlier New Jersey Wine Growers Association had approached Burke to help promote their wines. They now partner with Burke with some of the dinners.

“It hit me that New Jersey wine pairings would make the ultimate ‘blind tasting’ against notable wine labels at my Dinner in the Dark series,” said Burke. So, occasionally he introduces New Jersey wines alongside of some of the world’s best wines. “As a New Jersey native I think it’s time to recognize the winemakers’ efforts,” said Burke. “I support local when ‘local’ meets my expectations, just like our legendary Jersey tomatoes, peaches and corn are on my menus.”

Burke plans to continue to add more dinners and surprises. While the dinners are a fun form of entertainment for couples, he said that singles also feel comfortable and are fully welcome.

I love to have a bit of fun and to continue to surprise,” explained Burke. That said, he also plans to add a “blind date” Dinner in the Dark dinner.

*Dates, locations and details follow:


6:15 PM Dinner in the Dark by David Burke

THE GOAT by David Burke, Union Beach, NJ: Italian-American bistro

$85++ Per person

Ticket purchase link: https://thegoatbydb.com/event/7-28-dinner-in-the-dark/


6:15 PM Dinner in the Dark by David Burke

Red Horse by David Burke, Rumson, NJ:  Upscale, Asian-accented steakhouse

Maximum seating: 15 people

$100 per person

Ticket purchase link: https://redhorsebydb.com/event/8-9-dinner-in-the-dark-with-chef-david-burke/

*Please note the menu is subject to change and there will be no substitutions.

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Photo Credit: The GOAT by David Burke 


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