The first study was done by Harrar and Spence, psychologists from Oxford University to determine how participants experienced the taste of food on different types and shapes of cutlery. The article is open access so you can read it in its entirety here:
and (2013) The taste of cutlery: how the taste of food is affected by the weight, size, shape, and colour of the cutlery used to eat it. Published: 26 June 2013
Some cool observations were that yoghurt tasted thicker and richer from a plastic spoon and cheese tasted saltier when eaten off a knife! The contrasting colours between food and utensil also made a difference to the perceived taste. The effects are possibly related to personal expectations, physical effects (i.e. how the utensil feels in the hand), and among other reasons.
This could be tried at home with a simple test - taste some yogurt with different cutlery and see if you can taste a difference!
The second item is a different kind of restaurant experience - eat in the dark!
These restaurants are staffed by blind waiters and the entire dining experience is done in pitch blackness (you do order in a lighted bar and pay there too). Without sight, the idea is that your other senses are more attuned to the nuanced taste of the food. And a secondary lesson is understanding a bit more about what the blind experience daily. There are supposedly a number of restaurants in Europe and two in Canada, one in Montreal and one in Toronto (both called O.Noir). Neat idea and one I am looking forward to experiencing!