Monday, May 19, 2008

High Flying Fine Dining: Dinner at 165 Feet

Here's a dining concept that'll make your head if not your stomach spin: It's dinner at a table suspended 165 feet in the air with chairs that swivel180 degrees.

Dubbed Dinner in the Sky, the attraction is making its U.S. debut Monday in Orlando at the annual International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions convention. About 25,000attendees are expected at the one-stop-shopping event, where the amusement industry rolls out new thrill rides and related products.

Thehigh-flying dining venue was introduced in Europe last year and consists of a platform suspended from a crane. Guests are harnessed into 22 seats, with space in the center for a chef and two helpers.With local officials' blessings, the platform can be transported to just about anywhere the crane can maneuver. One recent spot: in front of the Amiens Cathedral in France, with dinner prepared by a three-star Michelin chef.

'It was like eating with the 12 apostles and Jesus Christ,' quips David Ghysels, co-founder of the Belgium-based company.

Ghysels sees all sorts of U.S. possibilities for the dangling restaurant, including air space over the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls and golf courses.

'I think human beings always like to see what's happening from the air,' he says. 'And there are so many wonderfuln atural spots in the U.S. Dinner in the Sky could go anywhere.'

Ther estaurant (dinnerinthesky.com) belongs firmly in the special-occasion category, however. The cost for eight hours is about $11,444 not including catering.

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