A Montreal company called Diner Entre Ciel et Terre (Dinner Between Heaven and Earth) wants to offer the city a new kind of restaurant experience—one 50 metres, or a shade over 164 feet, off the ground. The idea is simple, in principle. A platform with room for 22 diners, and a few cooks and servers, is hoisted way up by a 120 ton crane. Bon voyage, bon appétit—and do not look down.
Owner Gaetan Bouthillier, who took over what was a dormant enterprise in 2013, elaborates: "All the security and cables are doubled, tripled, and quadrupled. It's all regulated by strict industry standards. Diners are in comfortable racing seats with harnesses. Staff and cooks are in the middle of a big oval table. The atmosphere is good for coversation." For the skittish, the company offers short stints that last 15 minutes and cost $40 (just enough time for a drink and a few photos). Bouthillier calls the full dinner package "a multi-course V.I.P. affair." Diners spend a total of one hour in the air, with first and last courses served on the ground in a reception tent. No food is prepared on the platform but there is electricity on board. A cold starter is typically served first while the main course is warmed and plated. The price? $180 plus taxes, though this can vary from place to place.
Bouthillier stresses that all of Diner Entre Ciel et Terre's events are in partnership with local chefs and restaurants. There are none slated for Montreal as of yet but Fourquet Fourchette, a restaurant in the South Shore suburb of Chambly, will give it a go in September. The company is also set to work with Espace Artevino in Quebec City and with a restaurant in Saguenay.
Diner Entre Ciel et Terre is new to Montreal and Canada but the concept originated in Belgium a decade ago and has since been exported all over the world. Of London's own Events in the Sky, a Telegraph reporter with vertigo wrote last September, somewhat hilariously, that "[m]y entire body is frozen into a corpse-like stiffness and I dare not loosen my vice-like grip on the table. This makes eating difficult." Have a look at what to expect from a Diner Entre Ciel et Terre event below.