NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Shut up and eat!
One Brooklyn restaurant hasn’t been that blunt, but it has been holding special “Eat, Don’t Speak” meals that have left diners speechless.
Every week or so diners at Eat, a Greenpoint restaurant, get the silent treatment, CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported Friday.
Meals held in complete silence were inspired by chef Nicholas Nauman’s time in another culture.
“I spent some time in a Buddhist monastery in India when I was in college and we had silent breakfast every day,” Nauman said.
Owner Jordan Colon explained that even cellphones have to be kept quiet during the silent meals.
“We just ask people to turn off their phones and to remain silent for the remainder of the meal,” he said.
The silence in the dining room is interrupted only by the occasional hand gesture or nod.
“We made a lot of facial expressions. You know, we found other ways of communicating that weren’t verbal,” one diner said.
So far, management has not had to discipline anybody for making noise, but there have been some close calls.
Diners stifle laughs and step outside to blow their noses. The policy also cuts down on complaints from difficult diners.
“Like if there is something not quite right or they wanted something different. It gives one the opportunity to just be with that moment,” sous-chef Eva Schmidt explained.
New Yorkers told CBS 2’s Langford that they would embrace the challenge of staying silent through an entire meal.
“Just keep the woman from talking. The restaurant will make all the money in the world,” one man said.
Silence is apparently golden as the restaurant said that it has sold out so far on silent dining nights.
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