Alinea

  • 4.81
  • Outstanding!
  • Food:4.0
  • Decor:3.8
  • Service:4.0

1723 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60614Chicago / Lincoln Park  [ Map ]

(312) 867-0110  [ Website ]

American (New) / Japanese$300+

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Featured Review

Alinea

    • 5.0
  • Food: 5.0
  • Decor: 4.5
  • Service: 5.0
  • Meal Price: $300+

Part 1 - grand final dessert :  Chef grant_achatz serves Tropical fruit - rum, vanilla, kaffir lime

Part 1 - grand final dessert : Chef grant_achatz serves Tropical fruit - rum, vanilla, kaffir lime at our table. at #Alinea in #Chicago

Part 2 - grand final dessert :  Chef grant_achatz serves Tropical fruit - rum, vanilla, kaffir lime

Part 2 - grand final dessert : Chef grant_achatz serves Tropical fruit - rum, vanilla, kaffir lime at our table. at #Alinea in #Chicago

  • Part 1 - grand final dessert :  Chef grant_achatz serves Tropical fruit - rum, vanilla, kaffir lime  616826
  • Part 2 - grand final dessert :  Chef grant_achatz serves Tropical fruit - rum, vanilla, kaffir lime  616827

You think you know, but you have no idea

    • 5.0

If you have a reservation at Alinea in the near future, I suggest you stop reading all the online poilers. I know, I know. I'm usually the first one that just has to know what to always expect. The thing is, Alinea's entire concept works best when you EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED: a concept they expertly implement. My only suggestion is to look up what the building exterior looks like (or you might miss it). Other than that, don't ruin it. I'm warning you. Stop. Look away.

 

For the rest of you, I still won't spoil it completely. I refuse to. Arrived promptly at 9:30pm. The building is unmarked. No name. No clue. We entered into a mauve tunnel and about 6 steps in, magic doors opened unexpectedly into the unknown. We spotted the hostess and cheerfully greeted her. She stared us down and after an awkward 6-7 second pause she announced "We were expecting you an hour ago." Shit. What was she talking about? Turns out, she was correct. I doubted her at first because I am a sticklet for reservations. Alas, once I checked my confirmation e-mai, I saw she was correct. "We will still be able to honor your reservation", she finally (and icily) said. My heart sunk. I waited for this reservation for over a month! I would have been so sad had we left then. I'm not sure why we confused the times. I apologized, but she was not caving. We were escorted up to our table on the 2nd floor. One of our (many) waiters came by and assured us it was OK (despite the last seating being then). Thankfully, everything was smooth sailing from then on.

 

Our dinner was pre-paid. We purchased "tickets" online instead of reserving the traditional way. They do things differently here. (TIP: Follow them on Facebook/Twitter. They always announce when the tickets are on sale and you have a better chance at snagging a reservation.) The dinner consisted of 13 small courses. You have to know that almost everything at Alinea has a surprise factor. The attention to detail is astounding. Everything has a purpose: every plate, utensil, setting, etc.. Once there, we decided to add the wine pairing to our dinner as well. Although I did not love every single pairing (as in, I would never have it outside of Alinea), each one paired perfectly with its course. My favorites were the Selbach-Oster Riesling Kabinett (surprisingly so), the Sato No Homare Sake, and the Chateau Tirecul a Graviere.

 

Without giving all the details away, I will say that my favorite courses were the scallops, lobster, wagyu, hot potato, and duck. Those were ALL delicious! My least favorites were the pistachio dessert and lily bulbs. Yes, I ate flowers. I also inhaled helium, and had a course called " ........?????............!!!!!!!!!!!!! " . I laughed, I mmm'd and had a memorable night.

 

For the skeptics (like me), this was surprisingly enjoyable. I'm usually not a fan of gimmicky restaurants. I can even go as far as compare this to a similar one I recently dined at (and another 3 Michelin Star restaurant) which I detested, Meadowood. While Meadowood left me mentally and physically starved, Alinea did not.

 

Are you going to roll out of there stuffed? Probably not! You will, however, leave there satisfied and with a better understanding of high end cuisine and it's intricate techniques. I am so humbled I was able to experience it and feel like a better diner now because of it.

 

Service was wonderful. I will say this too: do not dine at Alinea if you don't have a sense of humor and an understanding of sarcasm. With the exception of our frowning hostess, the staff was ALL witty, sharp, focused, professional and full of one liners. It worked beautifully with our party. It also works flawlessly with this kind of food where delivery and presentation are key factors! I would love to be a fly on the wall during the hiring and training process. Do they train them at the Improv? I lost count on how many waiters we had all night for each course. I saw at least 9 different ones who presented a course and interacted with us.

 

I was actually sad when I realized it was over. I felt like it should have been 2 courses longer. I hesitantly pushed my chair back and left.

 

Unfortunately, Alinea is not the kind of place you can return to immediately. I would think you need to let some time pass and wait for them to switch their menu around. I do plan to hopefully return in a couple of years. Next time though, I will triple confirm my reservation time. I wouldn't want to get the death stare from that hostess again. Ha! I kid. I will be on time though.

 

Promise.

Great Food, Great Atmosphere

    • 4.5
  • Food: 5.0
  • Decor: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Meal Price: $300+

Alinea is an unforgettable experience. I went here with my spouse for a romantic evening. I left with an incredible dining experience. We were served 16 courses of innovative dishes that really brought out the art of the culinary profession. Each of which, in my opinion, surpassed the previous course. It's relatively expensive, but I highly recommend it.

Alinea

My happy place+  + = alinearestaurant  
I finally made it here with cbcmoose and highlowfooddrink (m

My happy place+ + = alinearestaurant I finally made it here with cbcmoose and highlowfooddrink (my first food blogger friend). More pics of our epic dinner to come but I've been dreaming of this edible helium balloon CHICAGO Amtrak lefooding Chipmunk voice all around

  • My happy place+  + = alinearestaurant  
I finally made it here with cbcmoose and highlowfooddrink (m 717401

Alinea

Back in July, we revisited our first 3 Michelin star restaurant (for the 3rd time) that served as th

Back in July, we revisited our first 3 Michelin star restaurant (for the 3rd time) that served as the stepping stone to our obsession with haute cuisine: Alinea, Chicago

Entrance into the dining room at Alinea, Chicago

Entrance into the dining room at Alinea, Chicago

White chocolate sphere filled with peach juice and champagne with basil leaf on top at Alinea, Chica

White chocolate sphere filled with peach juice and champagne with basil leaf on top at Alinea, Chicago

Pouring broth of little neck clam over ginger, fennel, cucumber. On top of the plate: Saffron gel, l

Pouring broth of little neck clam over ginger, fennel, cucumber. On top of the plate: Saffron gel, lemon pudding droplets, lemon roasted sunchoke, violet petals with floral custards, cucumber brioche, horseradish, and surf clam salad at Alinea, Chicago

Broth of little neck clam over ginger, fennel, cucumber. On top of the plate: Saffron gel, lemon pud

Broth of little neck clam over ginger, fennel, cucumber. On top of the plate: Saffron gel, lemon pudding droplets, lemon roasted sunchoke, violet petals with floral custards, cucumber brioche, horseradish, and surf clam salad at Alinea, Chicago. We used a metal straw to sip the broth!

Aroma of chamomile, chamomile flowers, smoked steelhead trout roe, honeydew, jalapeo, English pea at

Aroma of chamomile, chamomile flowers, smoked steelhead trout roe, honeydew, jalapeo, English pea at Alinea, Chicago

Aroma of chamomile, chamomile flowers, smoked steelhead trout roe, honeydew, jalapeo, English pea at

Aroma of chamomile, chamomile flowers, smoked steelhead trout roe, honeydew, jalapeo, English pea at Alinea, Chicago

Fava beans with black truffle, green asparagus pure, radish at Alinea, Chicago

Fava beans with black truffle, green asparagus pure, radish at Alinea, Chicago

Fava beans with black truffle, green asparagus pure, radish at Alinea, Chicago

Fava beans with black truffle, green asparagus pure, radish at Alinea, Chicago

3 little bites inspired by Thailand: Crab roe pudding with green pudding, tamarind curdle with finge

3 little bites inspired by Thailand: Crab roe pudding with green pudding, tamarind curdle with finger limes, Siam drink with coconut and Thai chili at Alinea, Chicago

3 little bites inspired by Thailand: Crab roe pudding with green pudding, tamarind curdle with finge

3 little bites inspired by Thailand: Crab roe pudding with green pudding, tamarind curdle with finger limes, Siam drink with coconut and Thai chili at Alinea, Chicago

Japanese sweet corn with uni butter at Alinea, Chicago

Japanese sweet corn with uni butter at Alinea, Chicago

Ice fish cracker layered with hamachi tartar and kombu seaweed at Alinea, Chicago

Ice fish cracker layered with hamachi tartar and kombu seaweed at Alinea, Chicago

Goose barnacles at Alinea, Chicago

Goose barnacles at Alinea, Chicago

The next presentation: Fire!

The next presentation: Fire!

Snacked on small bites next to the fire: Pickled plum, unagi, white sesame seeds at Alinea, Chicago

Snacked on small bites next to the fire: Pickled plum, unagi, white sesame seeds at Alinea, Chicago

The Fire Course: Chicken wrapped in 2 layers of seaweed with charred daikon radish, grilled lily flo

The Fire Course: Chicken wrapped in 2 layers of seaweed with charred daikon radish, grilled lily flowers, and shishito peppers at Alinea, Chicago

The Fire Course: Chicken wrapped in 2 layers of seaweed with charred daikon radish, grilled lily flo

The Fire Course: Chicken wrapped in 2 layers of seaweed with charred daikon radish, grilled lily flowers, and shishito peppers at Alinea, Chicago

The Fire Course: Chicken wrapped in 2 layers of seaweed with charred daikon radish, grilled lily flo

The Fire Course: Chicken wrapped in 2 layers of seaweed with charred daikon radish, grilled lily flowers, and shishito peppers at Alinea, Chicago

Hot potato, cold potato: Hot Yukon gold potato with parmesan cheese and butter at Alinea, Chicago

Hot potato, cold potato: Hot Yukon gold potato with parmesan cheese and butter at Alinea, Chicago

Olive branches, rosemary, cuts of lamb (tenderloin, smoked loin, pickled lamb tongue), lamb reductio

Olive branches, rosemary, cuts of lamb (tenderloin, smoked loin, pickled lamb tongue), lamb reduction, olives, artichoke at Alinea, Chicago

Olive branches, rosemary, cuts of lamb (tenderloin, smoked loin, pickled lamb tongue), lamb reductio

Olive branches, rosemary, cuts of lamb (tenderloin, smoked loin, pickled lamb tongue), lamb reduction, olives, artichoke at Alinea, Chicago

Black Truffle Explosion: Ravioli with black truffle broth and Parmesan cheese atop at Alinea, Chicag

Black Truffle Explosion: Ravioli with black truffle broth and Parmesan cheese atop at Alinea, Chicago

Black Truffle Explosion: Ravioli with black truffle broth and Parmesan cheese atop at Alinea, Chicag

Black Truffle Explosion: Ravioli with black truffle broth and Parmesan cheese atop at Alinea, Chicago

Chef's Cheesecake: Raspberry chip, meringue, butter cream sauce, hibiscus pate de fruit, matcha powd

Chef's Cheesecake: Raspberry chip, meringue, butter cream sauce, hibiscus pate de fruit, matcha powder at Alinea, Chicago

Dehydrated bacon with apple strings, scotch, thyme at Alinea, Chicago

Dehydrated bacon with apple strings, scotch, thyme at Alinea, Chicago

Green apple taffy balloon  at Alinea, Chicago

Green apple taffy balloon at Alinea, Chicago

How to eat the green apple taffy balloon by Grace. Tap to hear the post-balloon helium voice.

How to eat the green apple taffy balloon by Grace. Tap to hear the post-balloon helium voice.

Ingredients for the grand finale dessert at Alinea, Chicago

Ingredients for the grand finale dessert at Alinea, Chicago

Part 1: Grand Finale at Alinea, Chicago

Part 1: Grand Finale at Alinea, Chicago

Part 2: Dessert Grand Finale at Alinea, Chicago. Bam!  Coconut.

Part 2: Dessert Grand Finale at Alinea, Chicago. Bam! Coconut.

Grand finale dessert: Vanilla, rum, molasses, allspice, mango, passion fruit, sour of Sherry, carame

Grand finale dessert: Vanilla, rum, molasses, allspice, mango, passion fruit, sour of Sherry, caramelized banana, watermelon, dragon fruit, golden pineapple, kaffir lime candy, chocolate, lychee, coconut at Alinea, Chicago

Grand finale dessert: Vanilla, rum, molasses, allspice, mango, passion fruit, sour of Sherry, carame

Grand finale dessert: Vanilla, rum, molasses, allspice, mango, passion fruit, sour of Sherry, caramelized banana, watermelon, dragon fruit, golden pineapple, kaffir lime candy, chocolate, lychee, coconut at Alinea, Chicago

The kitchen where all the magic happens... at Alinea, Chicago

The kitchen where all the magic happens... at Alinea, Chicago

  • Back in July, we revisited our first 3 Michelin star restaurant (for the 3rd time) that served as th 294791
  • Entrance into the dining room at Alinea, Chicago 294793
  • White chocolate sphere filled with peach juice and champagne with basil leaf on top at Alinea, Chica 294794
  • Pouring broth of little neck clam over ginger, fennel, cucumber. On top of the plate: Saffron gel, l 294795
  • Broth of little neck clam over ginger, fennel, cucumber. On top of the plate: Saffron gel, lemon pud 294796
  • Aroma of chamomile, chamomile flowers, smoked steelhead trout roe, honeydew, jalapeo, English pea at 294797
  • Aroma of chamomile, chamomile flowers, smoked steelhead trout roe, honeydew, jalapeo, English pea at 294798
  • Fava beans with black truffle, green asparagus pure, radish at Alinea, Chicago 294800
  • Fava beans with black truffle, green asparagus pure, radish at Alinea, Chicago 294801
  • 3 little bites inspired by Thailand: Crab roe pudding with green pudding, tamarind curdle with finge 294802
  • 3 little bites inspired by Thailand: Crab roe pudding with green pudding, tamarind curdle with finge 294803
  • Japanese sweet corn with uni butter at Alinea, Chicago 294804
  • Ice fish cracker layered with hamachi tartar and kombu seaweed at Alinea, Chicago 294805
  • Goose barnacles at Alinea, Chicago 294806
  • The next presentation: Fire! 294807
  • Snacked on small bites next to the fire: Pickled plum, unagi, white sesame seeds at Alinea, Chicago 294808
  • The Fire Course: Chicken wrapped in 2 layers of seaweed with charred daikon radish, grilled lily flo 294809
  • The Fire Course: Chicken wrapped in 2 layers of seaweed with charred daikon radish, grilled lily flo 294810
  • The Fire Course: Chicken wrapped in 2 layers of seaweed with charred daikon radish, grilled lily flo 294811
  • Hot potato, cold potato: Hot Yukon gold potato with parmesan cheese and butter at Alinea, Chicago 294813
  • Olive branches, rosemary, cuts of lamb (tenderloin, smoked loin, pickled lamb tongue), lamb reductio 294814
  • Olive branches, rosemary, cuts of lamb (tenderloin, smoked loin, pickled lamb tongue), lamb reductio 294816
  • Black Truffle Explosion: Ravioli with black truffle broth and Parmesan cheese atop at Alinea, Chicag 294817
  • Black Truffle Explosion: Ravioli with black truffle broth and Parmesan cheese atop at Alinea, Chicag 294818
  • Chef's Cheesecake: Raspberry chip, meringue, butter cream sauce, hibiscus pate de fruit, matcha powd 294819
  • Dehydrated bacon with apple strings, scotch, thyme at Alinea, Chicago 294820
  • Green apple taffy balloon  at Alinea, Chicago 294821
  • How to eat the green apple taffy balloon by Grace. Tap to hear the post-balloon helium voice. 294823
  • Ingredients for the grand finale dessert at Alinea, Chicago 294824
  • Part 1: Grand Finale at Alinea, Chicago 294825
  • Part 2: Dessert Grand Finale at Alinea, Chicago. Bam!  Coconut. 294826
  • Grand finale dessert: Vanilla, rum, molasses, allspice, mango, passion fruit, sour of Sherry, carame 294828
  • Grand finale dessert: Vanilla, rum, molasses, allspice, mango, passion fruit, sour of Sherry, carame 294830
  • The kitchen where all the magic happens... at Alinea, Chicago 294833

Alinea

"Peach" of champagne, basil and Murray river salt at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Ali

"Peach" of champagne, basil and Murray river salt at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Chicago. The sphere is an encapsulation of champagne sealed in a thin white chocolate shell, garnished with micro basil

"Surf Clam" with sun choke, cucumber and lilac at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea

"Surf Clam" with sun choke, cucumber and lilac at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Chicago. Beautifully arranged on the hollowed plate are orange cube scented with saffron, fluid lemon gel, sunflower seed, horseradish cucumber. Accompanied by a consume of lemon, fennel and dill elegantly poured into the hollowed center.

"Surf Clam" with sun choke, cucumber and lilac at Grant Achatz's flagship Alinea in Chicago.

Beauti

"Surf Clam" with sun choke, cucumber and lilac at Grant Achatz's flagship Alinea in Chicago. Beautifully arranged on the hollowed plate are orange cube scented with saffron, fluid lemon gel, sunflower seed, horseradish cucumber. Accompanied by a consume of lemon, fennel and dill elegantly poured into the hollowed center.

"Steelhead roe" with English peas, olive oil and chamomile at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star fla

"Steelhead roe" with English peas, olive oil and chamomile at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Chicago. The plate is filled with smokey treats such as smoked trout roe, jalapeo jelly, pea pure, olive oil snow. Buried under the bowl is dry ice scented with chamomile to deliver a prelude to the complex flavor in the form of scent.

A tribute to Chicago -- "Graffiti of summer through the concrete" -- at Grant Achatz's three Micheli

A tribute to Chicago -- "Graffiti of summer through the concrete" -- at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Chicago. This complex dish draws inspiration from the rich street culture of modern Chicago. It consists of two pures: asparagus and crme frache Madeira topped with roasted carrots, white asparagus and baby breakfast radishes. A mixture of fava beans and black truffles along with dehydrated black truffle meringue glamorously cover the entirety of the dish .

"Crab" with rice, green curry and cilantro at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in

"Crab" with rice, green curry and cilantro at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Chicago. This mousse of Thai green curry and Maryland blue crab is part of a trio of three miniature creations that altogether form the fourth dish on the tasting menu.

"Tamarind" with young coconut and nam prik num at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea

"Tamarind" with young coconut and nam prik num at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Chicago. This tamarind of coconut caramel is one of the three miniature creations that altogether form the fourth dish on the tasting menu.

"Siam Sunray" with lemongrass, chili and soda at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea

"Siam Sunray" with lemongrass, chili and soda at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Chicago. This thumb sized edible cocktail is one of the three miniature creations that altogether form the fourth dish on the tasting menu.

  • "Peach" of champagne, basil and Murray river salt at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Ali 384813
  • "Surf Clam" with sun choke, cucumber and lilac at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea 384814
  • "Surf Clam" with sun choke, cucumber and lilac at Grant Achatz's flagship Alinea in Chicago.

Beauti 384815
  • "Steelhead roe" with English peas, olive oil and chamomile at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star fla 384816
  • A tribute to Chicago -- "Graffiti of summer through the concrete" -- at Grant Achatz's three Micheli 384817
  • "Crab" with rice, green curry and cilantro at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in  384818
  • "Tamarind" with young coconut and nam prik num at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea 384819
  • "Siam Sunray" with lemongrass, chili and soda at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea  384820

Alinea

Table centerpiece at #AlineaRestaurant, used for serving a pre-dinner cocktail of cava / Pacharn Sie

Table centerpiece at #AlineaRestaurant, used for serving a pre-dinner cocktail of cava / Pacharn Sierra de Ordua (sloe berry-infused liqueur from the Basque region of Spain) / apple brandy. Alinea just celebrated their 10th anniversary. I've made over 10 trips to Alinea over the years and it remains one of my all-time favorite restaurants. I haven't been for the past couple of years because Saison has been stealing my business. I was long overdue for a visit and eager to try some new Chef Achatz dishes. #Alinea #AlineaChicago #Michelin3stars #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Worlds50Best

Strawberry - tomato, pumpernickel, burrata.  First you eat the faux strawberry and tomato sitting on

Strawberry - tomato, pumpernickel, burrata. First you eat the faux strawberry and tomato sitting on the side....they were made from a jelly and looked so real I didn't realize until closer inspection. Then you drink the gazpacho in the globe using a straw. Really clever dish. #AlineaChicago #Alinea #AlineaRestaurant #Michelin3stars #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants

Close-up detail of the last dish I posted.  At #Alinea, nothing is as simple as it appears.  The fau

Close-up detail of the last dish I posted. At #Alinea, nothing is as simple as it appears. The faux strawberry and tomato are created from a thick jelly that captured the essence of the flavor. Look at the level of detail down to the dimpling on the surface of the berry. stuff here. #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Michelin3stars

Brook trout - uchiki kuri squash, Thai banana, blis at #Alinea.  One of my favorite dishes of the ni

Brook trout - uchiki kuri squash, Thai banana, blis at #Alinea. One of my favorite dishes of the night. Blis maple syrup aged in bourbon casks from Steve Stallard (in Michigan), the longtime supplier of trout roe to Chef Achatz. I think I've had trout roe in a course every time I've been to Alinea. At first glance this dish looks like something that might come out of the kitchen at that other 3 star place in Chicago. However the 2 restaurants could not be more different in terms of execution and flavor of the food. You can ignore the tweezer plating/edible art appearance of the food at Alinea and just taste the food....it is all balanced, complex and harmonious flavors/textures that are the foundation of Chef Achatz's cooking style. He cooked for years at The French Laundry and credits Chef Keller as his greatest mentor even though he also drew influence from his time at El Bulli. #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Worlds50Best #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Michelin3stars

Graffiti - matsutake, maitake, parsley.
This course was described as an ode to the rich history of a

Graffiti - matsutake, maitake, parsley. This course was described as an ode to the rich history of architecture in Chicago. The slabs of "concrete" were porcini mushroom meringue. There were pickled shallots mixed in there to add the acidity that brightened the dish. The server then sprayed green graffiti (parsley) out of a spray can table-side to finish the dish. After not visiting Alinea the past couple years, I think they're pushing the boundaries even more so than I remember from all my previous visits. There seem to be more table-side theatrics and interaction than I remember before. This kind of cooking is really a disaster in the hands of most Chefs. But Grant Achatz is not most Chefs, he is the Man. The theatrics are great and fun, but the bottom line is the food is still delicious. Period. #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Michelin3stars #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants

Just a little fire on the table.  Only at #Alinea. #AlineaRestaurant #AlineaChicago #Worlds50Best #W

Just a little fire on the table. Only at #Alinea. #AlineaRestaurant #AlineaChicago #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Michelin3stars

Chicken - shishito, lily, kombu.  The chicken thigh was wrapped in nori and kombu then hidden under

Chicken - shishito, lily, kombu. The chicken thigh was wrapped in nori and kombu then hidden under the wooden logs of the fire. It cooked at the table under the flames while we were eating the previous course, then was revealed and carved table-side. Intense umami going on here. #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Worlds50Best #Michelin3stars

Hot potato - cold potato, black truffle, butter.  A signature #Alinea dish from the early years.  #A

Hot potato - cold potato, black truffle, butter. A signature #Alinea dish from the early years. #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Michelin3stars

#Waygu - rosemary, avocado, caviar lime.  The serving piece was sizzling hot and when the fresh rose

#Waygu - rosemary, avocado, caviar lime. The serving piece was sizzling hot and when the fresh rosemary piece was placed into it, gave off a smoldering aroma to complement the beef. Avocado and finger lime to cut the richness of the beef. #Alinea doesn't do one-note dishes, everything is elevated. #AlineaRestaurant #AlineaChicago #Michelin3stars #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Worlds50Best

Black truffle - explosion, romaine, Parmesan. A classic dish that Chef Achatz developed during his t

Black truffle - explosion, romaine, Parmesan. A classic dish that Chef Achatz developed during his time at The French Laundry. It was one of the dishes he served during his audition for the Executive Chef job at Trio, and it became one of Trio's signature dishes. I wasn't lucky enough to dine at Trio but read all about it in "Life, on the Line," Chef Achatz' autobiography. The black truffle explosion is basically his version of a Chinese xiao long bao (soup dumpling). Bite into it and you get a burst of the most intense black truffle concentrated broth. Unbelievably good. I've had it on previous visits and it never gets old. I was told this time that the dish is now only served to diners who have been coming for years, as a nostalgic bite. #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant

Lamb - caper leaf, grapes, olives.  Mediterranean flavor profiles for this dish, which was probably

Lamb - caper leaf, grapes, olives. Mediterranean flavor profiles for this dish, which was probably my least favorite of the meal only because I'm not a fan of olives. #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Michelin3stars #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants

from Burgundy.  #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Mic

from Burgundy. #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Michelin3stars

Parsnip - honey truffle, vanilla, orange.  This earthy savory/sweet dish was the transition course b

Parsnip - honey truffle, vanilla, orange. This earthy savory/sweet dish was the transition course between the last lamb course and the dessert. Outstanding. #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Michelin3stars

Another off-menu bite from the kitchen, a creation from the early days of Alinea that I've had many

Another off-menu bite from the kitchen, a creation from the early days of Alinea that I've had many times. Bacon, butterscotch, apple, thyme suspended from a custom serving piece. #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Michelin3stars #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants

Tropical fruit - rum, vanilla, kaffir lime.  The famous #Alinea dessert.  A silicone tablecloth is p

Tropical fruit - rum, vanilla, kaffir lime. The famous #Alinea dessert. A silicone tablecloth is placed over the table and a Chef comes out from the kitchen to plate the dessert on the table. #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Michelin3stars #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants

Tropical fruit - rum, vanilla, kaffir lime.  #Alinea has been doing this tabletop dessert for years

Tropical fruit - rum, vanilla, kaffir lime. #Alinea has been doing this tabletop dessert for years but the components of the dish change. Chef Achatz is constantly pushing the boundaries to come up with new ideas and new dishes. Even after 10 years in business, the restaurant is constantly evolving. I've made over 10 visits to Alinea, and it remains one of my all-time favorite restaurants. There are plenty of restaurants out there getting cute with liquid nitrogen, immersion circulators, pacojets, and all the other fancy kitchen tools. But nobody, at least in the US, comes close to the level of what Alinea is doing in the category of modern/progressive cuisine. Instead of resting on their 3 star laurels, Alinea is closing in January for a few months for a complete overhaul of the restaurant and the whole dining experience is going to be rethought. I can't wait to see what surprises Alinea 2.0 delivers. #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Michelin3stars #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants

  • Table centerpiece at #AlineaRestaurant, used for serving a pre-dinner cocktail of cava / Pacharn Sie 617072
  • Strawberry - tomato, pumpernickel, burrata.  First you eat the faux strawberry and tomato sitting on 617073
  • Close-up detail of the last dish I posted.  At #Alinea, nothing is as simple as it appears.  The fau 617074
  • Brook trout - uchiki kuri squash, Thai banana, blis at #Alinea.  One of my favorite dishes of the ni 617075
  • Graffiti - matsutake, maitake, parsley.
This course was described as an ode to the rich history of a 617076
  • Just a little fire on the table.  Only at #Alinea. #AlineaRestaurant #AlineaChicago #Worlds50Best #W 617077
  • Chicken - shishito, lily, kombu.  The chicken thigh was wrapped in nori and kombu then hidden under  617078
  • Hot potato - cold potato, black truffle, butter.  A signature #Alinea dish from the early years.  #A 617079
  • #Waygu - rosemary, avocado, caviar lime.  The serving piece was sizzling hot and when the fresh rose 617080
  • Black truffle - explosion, romaine, Parmesan. A classic dish that Chef Achatz developed during his t 617081
  • Lamb - caper leaf, grapes, olives.  Mediterranean flavor profiles for this dish, which was probably  617082
  • from Burgundy.  #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Mic 617083
  • Parsnip - honey truffle, vanilla, orange.  This earthy savory/sweet dish was the transition course b 617084
  • Another off-menu bite from the kitchen, a creation from the early days of Alinea that I've had many  617085
  • Tropical fruit - rum, vanilla, kaffir lime.  The famous #Alinea dessert.  A silicone tablecloth is p 617086
  • Tropical fruit - rum, vanilla, kaffir lime.  #Alinea has been doing this tabletop dessert for years  617087

Alinea

The white dress. I'm entering a new decade with a clean palette...a fresh start...a new beginning to

The white dress. I'm entering a new decade with a clean palette...a fresh start...a new beginning to this exciting journey. Wifee thank you for always having my back. With you, I am confident walking through any obstacle in life. #Alinea

You can go without me...I just wanna stand here all day. I would die to spend a day in this kitchen.

You can go without me...I just wanna stand here all day. I would die to spend a day in this kitchen. I wouldn't touch, I wouldn't taste....I just wanna watch. #Alinea

Look mom, I'm playing with my food! 
Sour apple taffy with a side of helium anyone? 
Yeah, we're tot

Look mom, I'm playing with my food! Sour apple taffy with a side of helium anyone? Yeah, we're totally at a 3 Michelin star resto....yes, we're still this loud and yes, Wifee is totally making out (open mouth) with the balloon.

What an incredible evening it was. 
Hubby told me about a documentary she watched last year about a

What an incredible evening it was. Hubby told me about a documentary she watched last year about a world renown gastronomy chef Grant Achatz that was fascinating and I should watch. She tried to explain his story but said I needed to watch. She explained with such excitement and passion and dedication to me understanding, I did. I knew then that I had to just had to give her the experience of dining at his restaurant one of the TOP RATED in the world!!! Last night we did. I booked over a month ago as resos are tight and couldn't get on her actual birthday of Nov 3 but settled for Nov 4 and surprised her with a trip to Chicago just for that. Hubby is very much like the man in the area of emotion and doesn't always get super GA GA for things but this she did. I saw it in her eyes and knew I did good. I obvi contacted the resto prior and requested the best table and if the chef was in house to meet him as she would die and it would be an incredible surprise. They informed me he was over seas and would not be there. Our 20 course incredible experience of art and science in food I would say ending with a masterpiece created you actually eat off your table. I look up from my lap and who is creating ours ? CHEF F#$%&^! GRANT ACHATZ DID!!!! I died I friggin died I almost screamed and looked at hubby as she sunk in her chair like a little girl and praised the very shy I would say Chef. I wanted her to have a pic for memory with him so bad but he was so in his element it felt wrong and inappropriate to ask. She got video though hehe! What an incredible experience that I'm so happy I got to experience with her. P. s. totes met Rachel Zoe yesterday which you would think "i" would die as she's only one of the most successful fashion stylists in the world but I didn't. I died WAY more at dinner. Rachel Zoe who? I DIE! I felt honored like how is this possible he's at our table making our dessert? It's like the difference between Micheal Kors and Alexander McQueen. Artist and commercial designer BIG DIFFERENCE and kind of a big deal. Oh And might I add it was midnight! still there! happy birthday to my bestest bestest friend. xo

  • The white dress. I'm entering a new decade with a clean palette...a fresh start...a new beginning to 402051
  • You can go without me...I just wanna stand here all day. I would die to spend a day in this kitchen. 402052
  • Look mom, I'm playing with my food! 
Sour apple taffy with a side of helium anyone? 
Yeah, we're tot 402053
  • What an incredible evening it was. 
Hubby told me about a documentary she watched last year about a  402054

Alinea

    • 4.5
Eating at Alinea is a real experience. A meal at this restaurant is almost more like a performance. What Alinea does great is provide huge, multi-course meals that are creative, unique, and forward-thinking. The food is first-rate American fare that finds a new spin for every classic you can think of. What you'll also find is an attentive and courteous staff that will guide you through your meal with recommendations and suggestions for maximizing your experience. Definitely a place that you need to try at least once.

Alinea

Lamb three ways, 60 toppings

Lamb three ways, 60 toppings

Mushrooms.

Mushrooms.

Corn.

Corn.

Roe shooter.

Roe shooter.

Truffle explosion!

Truffle explosion!

Tempura brie, pear, cinnamon stick.

Tempura brie, pear, cinnamon stick.

Watermelon and tomato salad.

Watermelon and tomato salad.

Ginger five ways.

Ginger five ways.

Lime kafir foam, tuna, green curry.

Lime kafir foam, tuna, green curry.

Berries.

Berries.

Apple helium balloon.

Apple helium balloon.

Sucking the apple balloon helium.

Sucking the apple balloon helium.

White chocolate egg.

White chocolate egg.

Broken egg.

Broken egg.

Tonight's Adventure!

Tonight's Adventure!

Inside the kitchen.

Inside the kitchen.

60 lamb pairings.

60 lamb pairings.

  • Lamb three ways, 60 toppings 184840
  • Mushrooms. 184841
  • Corn. 184842
  • Roe shooter. 184843
  • Truffle explosion! 184844
  • Tempura brie, pear, cinnamon stick. 184845
  • Watermelon and tomato salad. 184846
  • Ginger five ways. 184847
  • Lime kafir foam, tuna, green curry. 184848
  • Berries. 184849
  • Apple helium balloon. 184850
  • Sucking the apple balloon helium. 184851
  • White chocolate egg. 184852
  • Broken egg. 184853
  • Tonight's Adventure! 184854
  • Inside the kitchen. 184855
  • 60 lamb pairings. 184856

Alinea

"Lamb"with caper leaf, grapes and olives at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Ch

"Lamb"with caper leaf, grapes and olives at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Chicago. Presented on a piece of glass separating the bed of herbs underneath are four iterations of lamb: loin, tender loin, picked tongue and bacon.

"Cheesecake" with blueberry, matcha and hibiscus at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alin

"Cheesecake" with blueberry, matcha and hibiscus at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Chicago. The cheesecake in the center is paired along with cooked blueberries, hibiscus, reduction of raspberry juices in the form of a chip, vanilla meringue, strawberry infused buttermilk and matcha greentea.

Tropical fruit

Tropical fruit

Alinea

Executive chef Mike Bagale at Alinea plating the signature final dessert dish on the silicon table m

Executive chef Mike Bagale at Alinea plating the signature final dessert dish on the silicon table mat.

Alinea

"Tropical fruit", vanilla, rum, kaffir lime.

Grant Achatz's iconic thinking-outside-of-the-box gran

"Tropical fruit", vanilla, rum, kaffir lime. Grant Achatz's iconic thinking-outside-of-the-box grand finale dessert showcases his methodology of plating beyond the physical boundary of plates: tropical fruits, semi-frozen meringues and various sauces of distinguished colors are plated directly atop the table covered by a mat made of military grade silicon.

"Tropical fruit", vanilla, rum, kaffir lime.

Grant Achatz's iconic thinking-outside-of-the-box gran

"Tropical fruit", vanilla, rum, kaffir lime. Grant Achatz's iconic thinking-outside-of-the-box grand finale dessert showcases his methodology of plating beyond the physical boundary of plates: tropical fruits, semi-frozen meringues and various sauces of distinguished colors are plated directly atop the table covered by a mat made of military grade silicon.

  • "Lamb"with caper leaf, grapes and olives at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Ch 597132
  • "Cheesecake" with blueberry, matcha and hibiscus at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alin 597133
  • Tropical fruit 597134
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  • Executive chef Mike Bagale at Alinea plating the signature final dessert dish on the silicon table m 597136
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  • "Tropical fruit", vanilla, rum, kaffir lime.

Grant Achatz's iconic thinking-outside-of-the-box gran 597138
  • "Tropical fruit", vanilla, rum, kaffir lime.

Grant Achatz's iconic thinking-outside-of-the-box gran 597139

Alinea

    • 5.0
  • Food: 5.0
  • Decor: 4.5
  • Service: 5.0
  • Meal Price: $200 - $299

Steelhead Roe - English pea, olive oil, chamomile. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago

Steelhead Roe - English pea, olive oil, chamomile. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago

#Percebes - smoke, seawater, ash. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago

#Percebes - smoke, seawater, ash. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago

#Percebes - smoke, seawater, ash. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago

Peach - white chocolate, basil, Murray river salt, champagne.  at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago

Peach - white chocolate, basil, Murray river salt, champagne

 

 

Alinea

 

Black Truffle Explosion, romaine, parmesanCorn - uni, nori, togarashi.  at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago

Corn - uni, nori, togarashi. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago

Dehydrated bacon with butterscotch, apple strings, thyme.   at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago

Dehydrated bacon with butterscotch, apple strings, thyme. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago

Lamb - caper leaf, grapes, olive. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz #Chicago

Lamb - caper leaf, grapes, olive. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz #Chicago

Lamb - caper leaf, grapes, olive. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz #Chicago

Lamb - caper leaf, grapes, olive. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz #Chicago

Thailand: Crab, Tamarind, Siam Sunray. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz #Chicago

Thailand: Crab, Tamarind, Siam Sunray. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz #Chicago

Thailand - crab,  rice, green curry, cilantro. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago

Thailand - crab, rice, green curry, cilantro. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago

Siam Sunray - lemongrass, chili, soda. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz #Chicago

Siam Sunray - lemongrass, chili, soda. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz #Chicago

I used a metal straw to sip chilled little neck clam broth on the bottom.  Surf Clam, Sunchoke, Cucu

I used a metal straw to sip chilled little neck clam broth on the bottom. Surf Clam, Sunchoke, Cucumber, Lilac. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago

Surf Clam, Sunchoke, Cucumber, Lilac. I used a metal straw to sip chilled little neck clam broth on

Surf Clam, Sunchoke, Cucumber, Lilac. I used a metal straw to sip chilled little neck clam broth on the bottom. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago

Tororo Kombu - hamachi, ice fish cracker by chef grant_achatz on the unique three legs plate, design

 

Tororo Kombu - hamachi, ice fish cracker on the unique three legs plate, designed by Crucial Detail 

 

Alinea

 

Hot Potato, Cold Potato, Black Truffle, ButterMichelin three start restaurant alinearestaurant chef grant_achatz kitchen.  #Chicago

Kitchen 

 

 

Our Shishito peppers were hanging from the ceiling!  then cooked with Unagi pickled plum, white sesa

 

Our Shishito peppers were hanging from the ceiling! then cooked with Unagi pickled plum, white sesame in front of us.

#Fire  Unagi pickled plum, white sesame. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz in Chicago

Unagi pickled plum, white sesame

Graffiti - summer through the concrete, black truffle meringue. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz #Chicag

Graffiti - summer through the concrete, black truffle meringue. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz #Chicag

Graffiti - summer through the concrete, black truffle meringue

 

AlineaAlineaAlineaAlinea

 

Chicken - shishito, lily, kombu

 

Alinea

 

Cheesecake - matcha, berries, hibiscus

 

Alinea

 

Edible Balloon

Alinea serves floating, helium-filled, green apple

 

 

Alinea

 

Tropical fruit - rum, vanilla, kaffir lime 

  • Steelhead Roe - English pea, olive oil, chamomile. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago 380854
  • #Percebes - smoke, seawater, ash. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago 380855
  • #Percebes - smoke, seawater, ash. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago 380856
  • Peach - white chocolate, basil, Murray river salt, champagne.  at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago 380857
  • Corn - uni, nori, togarashi.  at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago 380858
  • Dehydrated bacon with butterscotch, apple strings, thyme.   at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago 380859
  • Lamb - caper leaf, grapes, olive. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz #Chicago 380860
  • Lamb - caper leaf, grapes, olive. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz #Chicago 380861
  • Thailand: Crab, Tamarind, Siam Sunray. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz #Chicago 380862
  • Thailand - crab,  rice, green curry, cilantro. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz Chicago 380863
  • Siam Sunray - lemongrass, chili, soda. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz #Chicago 380864
  • I used a metal straw to sip chilled little neck clam broth on the bottom.  Surf Clam, Sunchoke, Cucu 380865
  • Surf Clam, Sunchoke, Cucumber, Lilac. I used a metal straw to sip chilled little neck clam broth on  380866
  • Tororo Kombu - hamachi, ice fish cracker by chef grant_achatz on the unique three legs plate, design 380867
  • Michelin three start restaurant alinearestaurant chef grant_achatz kitchen.  #Chicago 380868
  • Our Shishito peppers were hanging from the ceiling!  then cooked with Unagi pickled plum, white sesa 380869
  • #Fire  Unagi pickled plum, white sesame. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz in Chicago 380870
  • Graffiti - summer through the concrete, black truffle meringue. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz #Chicag 380871
  • Graffiti - summer through the concrete, black truffle meringue. at Alinea, Chef grant_achatz #Chicag 380872
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[Chicago] Alinea

The highlight of my trip to Chicago was Alinea, one of the first restaurants on my “dream” list – I first heard about this restaurant on a podcast that interviewed Grant Achatz, and how he lost his sense of taste when he was diagnosed with stage 4 tongue cancer – and how his ability to taste slowly came back after his cancer went into remission. I was really moved and amazed by the story, which prompted me to learn more about his cooking. I was instantly drawn to Alinea’s creativity and put it on my wish list for “someday.” Well, “someday” came true on a late Saturday evening last fall… and it was definitely an experience to remember.

 

There are three dining experiences at Alinea: the “Kitchen Table”, which is for parties of 6 only; the “Gallery”, which is their full tasting menu; and the “Salon”, which is a smaller tasting menu. We chose the “Gallery” – the website description is a “multi-sensory 16 to 18 course menu that combines fine dining with experimental moments.” When we first arrived, there was a large table for about 12 guests – I was surprised that it was a communal dining table, but we were quickly assured by our waiter that this was only part of the experience. We were also asked if we wanted a wine or juice pairing – J chose to have the juice pairing, which we ended up sharing. 

 

Be forewarned that this is going to be a really, really long post – we had a lot of food!

 

Course 1: Communal
Alinea 

This display of five shot glasses sitting in a block of ice was already at our table when we arrived, but we weren’t supposed to start eating until everyone was ready. From left to right, these were:

 

Pâté with black truffle; poached king crab; fresh herbs & onions; Osetra caviar; and egg yolk panna cotta. 

 

Alinea 

 

We were served several slices of toasted sourdough and told that we could mix and match these elements in any fashion that appealed to us. Right off the bat, it was clear that the dining experience here would be fun – there was no “right way” to eat a dish, and we were all encouraged to be creative and share our experiences with each other. That was the point of the communal table. 

 

I enjoyed all of the elements of this course, but my favorite had to be the pâté, sprinkled with a bit of the fresh herbs to cut the richness. I was very cautious with the king crab since I have a mild allergy, but turns out I didn’t have a reaction at all – hooray!

 

Verjus Blanc & Lychee
Alinea 

(I’m not a fan of lychee, so I didn’t have much of the first juice pairing.)

 

Course 2: Shaker | Roll
Alinea Alinea Alinea 

The green contraption that you see in the photo above is an old-school style cocktail shaking device – there are apparently only a handful of these ever made, and Alinea is the proud owner of one. For the second course, we all stepped into the kitchen from the dining room and watched as the chefs prepared us each a gin, chartreuse, and green tomato cocktail. It was served alongside a refreshing roll of cucumber, feta cheese, and caper leaf.

 

After we had all eaten our “rolls”, we were ushered back into the dining area where – lo and behold! – the communal table had been transformed into individual dining tables for each party with a beautiful bowl of citrus at the center of each table.

 

Alinea

 

Course 3: Crunch | Paper
Alinea 

“Crunch”: Shio kombu; nori; scallop mousse

 

Alinea

 

“Paper”: Scallop “noodles”, butter, corn broth

 

Alinea

 

Sweet Corn
Alinea 

We began to notice that the courses were arriving in “pairs”, which proved to be interesting both in flavor and texture. The “Crunch” element was a seaweed roll filled with a scallop mousse, which was a ridiculously savory bite. The “Paper” was made from dehydrated scallops pressed into a super thin and delicate sheet. The servers poured a buttery corn broth onto the paper, rehydrating (and thus destroying all the work that went into the dehydration) and giving them a noodle-like texture. Another crazy burst of umami here. The corn juice pairing was on point, with the sweetness balancing out the umami from both dishes perfectly. This was certainly a drink that didn’t “make sense” until we had it with the food, which speaks volumes (in my opinion) on the quality of the pairing.

 

As the next course was being served, our server poured something (liquid nitrogen? dry ice?) into our centerpiece that suddenly filled the room with the lovely aroma of citrus fruits. We would be experiencing our next course while our senses are filled with this fresh scent.

 

Alinea

 

Course 4: Contrast | Sangre | Swirl
Alinea 

“Contrast”: Confit cherry tomato; dehydrated watermelon; parmesan “ice”

 

Alinea 

 

“Sangre”: Pluot; green peanut foam; Iberico ham

 

Alinea 

 

“Swirl”: Apple; yuzu; lemon verbena

 

This course comprised of three elements, all of which were meant to be plays on the senses with a strong fruit component. My favorite of the three was the “Sangre” – I really loved the flavor of the peanut foam.

 

Golden Honeydew & White Sesame
Alinea 

With such a strong fruit component in each dish, it made perfect sense that the juice pairing would feature a hearty combination of honeydew and sesame. I felt that the juice paired the best with “Sangre,” which is probably why that was my favorite.

 

Course 5: Spectrum
Alinea 

Sanma (Pacific saury); aji amarillo; avocado; katsuobushi

 

“Beer & Malt Vinegar”
Alinea 

This course was inspired by Japanese-Peruvian cuisine, featuring grilled Pacific saury fish with sauce and accompaniments inspired by traditional Peruvian cuisine. Aji amarillo is a Peruvian chile pepper, from which the beautiful tri-colored sauce was made. The accompanying components were avocado wedge sprinkled with herbs, a fried shishito pepper wrapped with katsuobushi (dried bonito), and thinly shaved radish and beets. The juice pairing was a malt vinegar drink inspired by beer – and I would even say that it’s even more flavorful than beer, and with acidity instead of bitterness. It worked quite nicely with the bold flavors of the fish.

 

Course 6: Yellow
Alinea 

Pork belly; curry; banana

 

Sweet Potato & Golden Beet
Alinea 

Now we’re moving on from Japanese-Peruvian to the flavors of Southeast Asia. A perfectly braised slice of pork belly was smothered in a curry flavored with bananas, topped with glass noodles. The juice pairing added a lovely earthy element – this was yet another juice that was not spectacular on its own but totally worked with the dish. I noted this to our server, and he said that he actually preferred the juice pairing to the wine, not only because they make all of these juices in-house, but they can truly tailor each juice to each dish, experimenting with different components until it tasted “right” – something they can’t do with wine.

 

Course 7: Toast
Alinea 

Gruyere, black truffle, pumpernickel

 

This bite was one of my favorite courses of the night. A slice of pumpernickel bread, topped with warmed-almost-melty Gruyere cheese and a generous piece of black truffle – so much richness in just one bite. Our server described this as a mini, ultra-rich grilled cheese sandwich… which definitely made me laugh. Best damn grilled cheese sandwich ever.

 

The juice pairing for this course carried over from the last – again, the earthiness of the sweet potato and beets worked well here, and the sweetness definitely balanced out the rich and savory bite.

 

Course 8: Petal | Glass
Alinea

“Petal”: Purple allium; black pepper; onion

 

Alinea 

 

“Glass”: Lapsang souchong; blueberry; maitake

 

Rhubarb & Black Garlic
Alinea 

After several “single” courses, we had another dual-elements course. The “Petal” dish was yet another mini sandwich – the thin, glassy pieces of “bread” are actually dehydrated caramelized onions, and the filling was onion jam. Served atop purple allium flowers, this was a true onion-lovers’ delight. The “Glass” dish featured blueberry “glass”, encasing maitake mushrooms with a sauce made with lapsang souchong, a smoke-dried tea from Fujian.

 

The juice pairing here was also the “weirdest” one so far – rhubarb and… black garlic?! It tasted more like soup than juice. However, the black garlic did complement the onion-filled “Petal” dish perfectly… It just wasn’t meant to be consumed on its own, I decided.

 

Course 9: Bone
Alinea 

Wagyu; rice; myoga

 

This was another indulgent bite, with a slice of Miyazaki A5 wagyu beef on top of a cube of crispy rice, and topped with a thin shaving of myoga, Japanese ginger. Another one of my favorite bites of the evening, this was rich, flavorful, and ultra savory. It was also the perfect amount, as any more would have been just too rich for the palate.

 

Course 10: Cloche
Alinea Alinea 

Short rib; cinnamon; grape

 

Smoked Pinot Noir
Alinea 

This was the last savory course, and a wonderful one at that. The braised short rib was perfectly tender atop a bed of lentils, flavored with cinnamon. When the top of the cloche was opened, the room filled with the wonderful aroma of this dish. Paired with a juice made from smoked Pinot Noir grapes, this actually made me understand a bit of why red wine and meat are often paired together. 

 

Course 11: Nostalgia
Alinea 

Bubble gum; cake; banana

 

Sweet & Tart Cherry with Date
Alinea 

The first dessert course, “Nostalgia”, was a play on the flavors of childhood – but with a twist in preparation and presentation. I’m not sure how this was made, but they’re supposed to resemble candies, I believe – complete with a plastic “wrapper” that’s edible. While those aren’t the flavors of my childhood, I still enjoyed the creativity and thought that went into this dish.

 

Along with this plate, we also received two helium “balloons” – flavored with banana. This is one of Alinea’s iconic dishes, and I was so sad that I didn’t get a better photo of it with my camera. The servers warned us not to let the balloons touch anything because they’re extremely sticky, and I got too nervous trying to juggle my camera and the balloon at the same time. So, here‘s what it looks like – this was one of the most fun parts of the meal, as everyone in the dining room was inhaling the helium and speaking with the high-pitched voices. 

 

As our tables were being cleared for the next course, we saw the waitstaff climbing on stepladders to take off the paintings hanging on the ceilings…

 

Alinea 

 

…and before I could wonder what they were possibly going to do, imagine my surprise when the painting was set on our table to become our “plate” for the next course!

 

The room went dark, and upbeat, lively music began to play. The cooks wandered in and out of the kitchen, splattering and cracking various things onto our painting. Finally, the music stopped and the lights turned back on – this is what we saw:

 

Course 12: PaintAlinea 

White chocolate; cherry; bourbon

 

There were pieces of flash-frozen chocolate “ice cream”, pistachio and cherry nougat, cherry-bourbon sauce… it was messy, but it was also beautiful, in a chaotic sort of way. Everyone’s canvas was different, making this a truly unique dish for each table. Again, while the flavors of this dessert weren’t my particular favorites, I absolutely loved the concept and presentation.

 

Our final juice pairing also featured sweet cherry quite heavily, which worked quite nicely with the flavors of both desserts. Overall, we enjoyed all of the juices and felt that there was definitely so much thought put into them to balance out each course perfectly.

 

Lastly, our meal closed out with a few pieces of white sesame, browned butter, and feuilletine candy. We eagerly ate them before realizing that I forgot to take a photo… oops.

 

We truly had an amazing experience here at Alinea – the food was creative and delicious, and I loved that the atmosphere of the restaurant was light and fun. I had high expectations coming in, and the dinner here exceeded them for sure. This was my first dinner experience at a Michelin 3-star restaurant/ top 20 restaurant in the world, and it is definitely a meal that I won’t forget. Many thanks to J for being my dining companion, and thanks to all of you for getting through this very long and very wordy post :) 

 

Alinea

 

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Alinea

Alinea

Have you heard aboutChooseChicago's#ChicagoRestaurant Week Instagram Contest? 6 weeks of great food

Have you heard aboutChooseChicago's#ChicagoRestaurant Week Instagram Contest? 6 weeks of great food & prizes! Learn more about #CRWContest atwww.choosechicago.com/crwcontest#CRW

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Have you heard aboutChooseChicago's#ChicagoRestaurant Week Instagram Contest? 6 weeks of great food

Have you heard aboutChooseChicago's#ChicagoRestaurant Week Instagram Contest? 6 weeks of great food & prizes! Learn more about #CRWContest atwww.choosechicago.com/crwcontest#CRW

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Alinea

Have you heard aboutChooseChicago's#ChicagoRestaurant Week Instagram Contest? 6 weeks of great food

Have you heard aboutChooseChicago's#ChicagoRestaurant Week Instagram Contest? 6 weeks of great food & prizes! Learn more about #CRWContest atwww.choosechicago.com/crwcontest#CRW

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Have you heard aboutChooseChicago's#ChicagoRestaurant Week Instagram Contest? 6 weeks of great food

Have you heard aboutChooseChicago's#ChicagoRestaurant Week Instagram Contest? 6 weeks of great food & prizes! Learn more about #CRWContest atwww.choosechicago.com/crwcontest#CRW

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  • Have you heard aboutChooseChicago's#ChicagoRestaurant Week Instagram Contest? 6 weeks of great food  260469
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Alinea

"Corn" on a cob with uni butter togarashi and nori salt at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagsh

"Corn" on a cob with uni butter togarashi and nori salt at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Chicago. This is a component of the grill and surf n turf themed fifth dish on the tasting menu.

"Tororo Kombu" of hamachi and ice fish cracker at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea

"Tororo Kombu" of hamachi and ice fish cracker at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Chicago. This is a component of the grill and surf n turf themed fifth dish on the tasting menu.

Goose barnacle poached in salt water in the shell, served on a bed of seaweed at Grant Achatz's thre

Goose barnacle poached in salt water in the shell, served on a bed of seaweed at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Chicago. This is a component of the grill and surf n turf themed fifth dish on the tasting menu.

Unagi, pickled plums and white sesame skewered on a pine ranch at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star

Unagi, pickled plums and white sesame skewered on a pine ranch at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Chicago. This is a component of the grill and surf n turf themed fifth dish on the tasting menu.

Chicken thigh wrapped in Kombu seaweed extracted from the flinch on a bed of toasted Nori seaweed, s

Chicken thigh wrapped in Kombu seaweed extracted from the flinch on a bed of toasted Nori seaweed, served with daikon, shishito pepper and lily flame grilled on the table side with Ugani from the previous dish. This is a component of the "Chicken" dish from the tasting menu at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Chicago.

Egg yolk and chicken fat custard grilled chicken liver with edible flower, a component to the "Chick

Egg yolk and chicken fat custard grilled chicken liver with edible flower, a component to the "Chicken" dish from the tasting menu at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Chicago.

Crispy thin strips of Kombu, a component of the "Chicken" dish at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star

Crispy thin strips of Kombu, a component of the "Chicken" dish at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Chicago.

Yukon gold potato with slice of truffle, chive, Parmesan and butter on a skewer with a chilled potat

Yukon gold potato with slice of truffle, chive, Parmesan and butter on a skewer with a chilled potato soup at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Chicago.

"Lamb"with caper leaf, grapes and olives at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Ch

"Lamb"with caper leaf, grapes and olives at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Chicago. Presented on a piece of glass separating the bed of herbs underneath are four iterations of lamb: loin, tender loin, picked tongue and bacon.

"Cheesecake" with blueberry, matcha and hibiscus at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alin

"Cheesecake" with blueberry, matcha and hibiscus at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Chicago. The cheesecake in the center is paired along with cooked blueberries, hibiscus, reduction of raspberry juices in the form of a chip, vanilla meringue, strawberry infused buttermilk and matcha greentea.

Tropical fruit

Tropical fruit

Alinea

Executive chef Mike Bagale at Alinea plating the signature final dessert dish on the silicon table m

Executive chef Mike Bagale at Alinea plating the signature final dessert dish on the silicon table mat.

Alinea

"Tropical fruit", vanilla, rum, kaffir lime.

Grant Achatz's iconic thinking-outside-of-the-box gran

"Tropical fruit", vanilla, rum, kaffir lime. Grant Achatz's iconic thinking-outside-of-the-box grand finale dessert showcases his methodology of plating beyond the physical boundary of plates: tropical fruits, semi-frozen meringues and various sauces of distinguished colors are plated directly atop the table covered by a mat made of military grade silicon.

"Tropical fruit", vanilla, rum, kaffir lime.

Grant Achatz's iconic thinking-outside-of-the-box gran

"Tropical fruit", vanilla, rum, kaffir lime. Grant Achatz's iconic thinking-outside-of-the-box grand finale dessert showcases his methodology of plating beyond the physical boundary of plates: tropical fruits, semi-frozen meringues and various sauces of distinguished colors are plated directly atop the table covered by a mat made of military grade silicon.

  • "Corn" on a cob with uni butter togarashi and nori salt at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagsh 384797
  • "Tororo Kombu" of hamachi and ice fish cracker at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea 384798
  • Goose barnacle poached in salt water in the shell, served on a bed of seaweed at Grant Achatz's thre 384799
  • Unagi, pickled plums and white sesame skewered on a pine ranch at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star 384800
  • Chicken thigh wrapped in Kombu seaweed extracted from the flinch on a bed of toasted Nori seaweed, s 384801
  • Egg yolk and chicken fat custard grilled chicken liver with edible flower, a component to the "Chick 384802
  • Crispy thin strips of Kombu, a component of the "Chicken" dish at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star 384803
  • Yukon gold potato with slice of truffle, chive, Parmesan and butter on a skewer with a chilled potat 384804
  • "Lamb"with caper leaf, grapes and olives at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alinea in Ch 384805
  • "Cheesecake" with blueberry, matcha and hibiscus at Grant Achatz's three Michelin star flagship Alin 384806
  • Tropical fruit 384807
  •  384808
  • Executive chef Mike Bagale at Alinea plating the signature final dessert dish on the silicon table m 384809
  •  384810
  • "Tropical fruit", vanilla, rum, kaffir lime.

Grant Achatz's iconic thinking-outside-of-the-box gran 384811
  • "Tropical fruit", vanilla, rum, kaffir lime.

Grant Achatz's iconic thinking-outside-of-the-box gran 384812

Alinea

    • 5.0

2004 #MaisonLeroy #Meursault #LesPerrires.  Off the wine list at #Alinea.  Such purity and concentra

2004 #MaisonLeroy #Meursault #LesPerrires. Off the wine list at #Alinea. Such purity and concentration. #LalouBizeLeroy #AlineaRestaurant #AlineaChicago #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Michelin3stars #Worlds50Best

Table centerpiece at #AlineaRestaurant, used for serving a pre-dinner cocktail of cava / Pacharn Sie

Table centerpiece at #AlineaRestaurant, used for serving a pre-dinner cocktail of cava / Pacharn Sierra de Ordua (sloe berry-infused liqueur from the Basque region of Spain) / apple brandy. Alinea just celebrated their 10th anniversary. I've made over 10 trips to Alinea over the years and it remains one of my all-time favorite restaurants. I haven't been for the past couple of years because Saison has been stealing my business. I was long overdue for a visit and eager to try some new Chef Achatz dishes. #Alinea #AlineaChicago #Michelin3stars #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Worlds50Best

Strawberry - tomato, pumpernickel, burrata.  First you eat the faux strawberry and tomato sitting on

Strawberry - tomato, pumpernickel, burrata. First you eat the faux strawberry and tomato sitting on the side....they were made from a jelly and looked so real I didn't realize until closer inspection. Then you drink the gazpacho in the globe using a straw. Really clever dish. #AlineaChicago #Alinea #AlineaRestaurant #Michelin3stars #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants

Close-up detail of the last dish I posted.  At #Alinea, nothing is as simple as it appears.  The fau

Close-up detail of the last dish I posted. At #Alinea, nothing is as simple as it appears. The faux strawberry and tomato are created from a thick jelly that captured the essence of the flavor. Look at the level of detail down to the dimpling on the surface of the berry. stuff here. #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Michelin3stars

Brook trout - uchiki kuri squash, Thai banana, blis at #Alinea.  One of my favorite dishes of the ni

Brook trout - uchiki kuri squash, Thai banana, blis at #Alinea. One of my favorite dishes of the night. Blis maple syrup aged in bourbon casks from Steve Stallard (in Michigan), the longtime supplier of trout roe to Chef Achatz. I think I've had trout roe in a course every time I've been to Alinea. At first glance this dish looks like something that might come out of the kitchen at that other 3 star place in Chicago. However the 2 restaurants could not be more different in terms of execution and flavor of the food. You can ignore the tweezer plating/edible art appearance of the food at Alinea and just taste the food....it is all balanced, complex and harmonious flavors/textures that are the foundation of Chef Achatz's cooking style. He cooked for years at The French Laundry and credits Chef Keller as his greatest mentor even though he also drew influence from his time at El Bulli. #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Worlds50Best #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Michelin3stars

Graffiti - matsutake, maitake, parsley.
This course was described as an ode to the rich history of a

Graffiti - matsutake, maitake, parsley. This course was described as an ode to the rich history of architecture in Chicago. The slabs of "concrete" were porcini mushroom meringue. There were pickled shallots mixed in there to add the acidity that brightened the dish. The server then sprayed green graffiti (parsley) out of a spray can table-side to finish the dish. After not visiting Alinea the past couple years, I think they're pushing the boundaries even more so than I remember from all my previous visits. There seem to be more table-side theatrics and interaction than I remember before. This kind of cooking is really a disaster in the hands of most Chefs. But Grant Achatz is not most Chefs, he is the Man. The theatrics are great and fun, but the bottom line is the food is still delicious. Period. #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Michelin3stars #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants

Just a little fire on the table.  Only at #Alinea. #AlineaRestaurant #AlineaChicago #Worlds50Best #W

Just a little fire on the table. Only at #Alinea. #AlineaRestaurant #AlineaChicago #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Michelin3stars

Chicken - shishito, lily, kombu.  The chicken thigh was wrapped in nori and kombu then hidden under

Chicken - shishito, lily, kombu. The chicken thigh was wrapped in nori and kombu then hidden under the wooden logs of the fire. It cooked at the table under the flames while we were eating the previous course, then was revealed and carved table-side. Intense umami going on here. #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Worlds50Best #Michelin3stars

Hot potato - cold potato, black truffle, butter.  A signature #Alinea dish from the early years.  #A

Hot potato - cold potato, black truffle, butter. A signature #Alinea dish from the early years. #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Michelin3stars

#Waygu - rosemary, avocado, caviar lime.  The serving piece was sizzling hot and when the fresh rose

#Waygu - rosemary, avocado, caviar lime. The serving piece was sizzling hot and when the fresh rosemary piece was placed into it, gave off a smoldering aroma to complement the beef. Avocado and finger lime to cut the richness of the beef. #Alinea doesn't do one-note dishes, everything is elevated. #AlineaRestaurant #AlineaChicago #Michelin3stars #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Worlds50Best

Black truffle - explosion, romaine, Parmesan. A classic dish that Chef Achatz developed during his t

Black truffle - explosion, romaine, Parmesan. A classic dish that Chef Achatz developed during his time at The French Laundry. It was one of the dishes he served during his audition for the Executive Chef job at Trio, and it became one of Trio's signature dishes. I wasn't lucky enough to dine at Trio but read all about it in "Life, on the Line," Chef Achatz' autobiography. The black truffle explosion is basically his version of a Chinese xiao long bao (soup dumpling). Bite into it and you get a burst of the most intense black truffle concentrated broth. Unbelievably good. I've had it on previous visits and it never gets old. I was told this time that the dish is now only served to diners who have been coming for years, as a nostalgic bite. #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant

Lamb - caper leaf, grapes, olives.  Mediterranean flavor profiles for this dish, which was probably

Lamb - caper leaf, grapes, olives. Mediterranean flavor profiles for this dish, which was probably my least favorite of the meal only because I'm not a fan of olives. #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Michelin3stars #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants

from Burgundy.  #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Mic

from Burgundy. #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Michelin3stars

Parsnip - honey truffle, vanilla, orange.  This earthy savory/sweet dish was the transition course b

Parsnip - honey truffle, vanilla, orange. This earthy savory/sweet dish was the transition course between the last lamb course and the dessert. Outstanding. #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Michelin3stars

Another off-menu bite from the kitchen, a creation from the early days of Alinea that I've had many

Another off-menu bite from the kitchen, a creation from the early days of Alinea that I've had many times. Bacon, butterscotch, apple, thyme suspended from a custom serving piece. #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Michelin3stars #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants

Tropical fruit - rum, vanilla, kaffir lime.  The famous #Alinea dessert.  A silicone tablecloth is p

Tropical fruit - rum, vanilla, kaffir lime. The famous #Alinea dessert. A silicone tablecloth is placed over the table and a Chef comes out from the kitchen to plate the dessert on the table. #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Michelin3stars #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants

Tropical fruit - rum, vanilla, kaffir lime.  #Alinea has been doing this tabletop dessert for years

Tropical fruit - rum, vanilla, kaffir lime. #Alinea has been doing this tabletop dessert for years but the components of the dish change. Chef Achatz is constantly pushing the boundaries to come up with new ideas and new dishes. Even after 10 years in business, the restaurant is constantly evolving. I've made over 10 visits to Alinea, and it remains one of my all-time favorite restaurants. There are plenty of restaurants out there getting cute with liquid nitrogen, immersion circulators, pacojets, and all the other fancy kitchen tools. But nobody, at least in the US, comes close to the level of what Alinea is doing in the category of modern/progressive cuisine. Instead of resting on their 3 star laurels, Alinea is closing in January for a few months for a complete overhaul of the restaurant and the whole dining experience is going to be rethought. I can't wait to see what surprises Alinea 2.0 delivers. #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Michelin3stars #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants

  • 2004 #MaisonLeroy #Meursault #LesPerrires.  Off the wine list at #Alinea.  Such purity and concentra 379841
  • Table centerpiece at #AlineaRestaurant, used for serving a pre-dinner cocktail of cava / Pacharn Sie 379842
  • Strawberry - tomato, pumpernickel, burrata.  First you eat the faux strawberry and tomato sitting on 379843
  • Close-up detail of the last dish I posted.  At #Alinea, nothing is as simple as it appears.  The fau 379844
  • Brook trout - uchiki kuri squash, Thai banana, blis at #Alinea.  One of my favorite dishes of the ni 379845
  • Graffiti - matsutake, maitake, parsley.
This course was described as an ode to the rich history of a 379846
  • Just a little fire on the table.  Only at #Alinea. #AlineaRestaurant #AlineaChicago #Worlds50Best #W 379847
  • Chicken - shishito, lily, kombu.  The chicken thigh was wrapped in nori and kombu then hidden under  379848
  • Hot potato - cold potato, black truffle, butter.  A signature #Alinea dish from the early years.  #A 379849
  • #Waygu - rosemary, avocado, caviar lime.  The serving piece was sizzling hot and when the fresh rose 379850
  • Black truffle - explosion, romaine, Parmesan. A classic dish that Chef Achatz developed during his t 379851
  • Lamb - caper leaf, grapes, olives.  Mediterranean flavor profiles for this dish, which was probably  379852
  • from Burgundy.  #Alinea #AlineaChicago #AlineaRestaurant #Worlds50Best #Worlds50BestRestaurants #Mic 379853
  • Parsnip - honey truffle, vanilla, orange.  This earthy savory/sweet dish was the transition course b 379854
  • Another off-menu bite from the kitchen, a creation from the early days of Alinea that I've had many  379855
  • Tropical fruit - rum, vanilla, kaffir lime.  The famous #Alinea dessert.  A silicone tablecloth is p 379856
  • Tropical fruit - rum, vanilla, kaffir lime.  #Alinea has been doing this tabletop dessert for years  379857

Alinea

OYSTER LEAF mignonette / KING CRAB passionfruit, heart of palm, allspice / LOBSTER carrot, chamomile

OYSTER LEAF mignonette / KING CRAB passionfruit, heart of palm, allspice / LOBSTER carrot, chamomile / RAZOR CLAM shiso, soy, daikon

Alinea

Alinea

Alinea

Alinea

BLUEBERRY buttermilk, sorrel, macadamia

BLUEBERRY buttermilk, sorrel, macadamia

Alinea

granted

granted

  • OYSTER LEAF mignonette / KING CRAB passionfruit, heart of palm, allspice / LOBSTER carrot, chamomile 422488
  •  422491
  •  422492
  •  422493
  •  422494
  • BLUEBERRY buttermilk, sorrel, macadamia 422495
  •  422496
  • granted 422497

Alinea

Enamored

Enamored

One of the most beautiful plates (and tastes) I've ever experienced.  Squash blossom leaf tasted inc

One of the most beautiful plates (and tastes) I've ever experienced. Squash blossom leaf tasted incredible.

Burn baby burn

Burn baby burn

Top three bite of all time. Holy wow.

Top three bite of all time. Holy wow.

Be still my heart! That is a box of white truffles. Best smell of my life!

Be still my heart! That is a box of white truffles. Best smell of my life!

Holy shit.

Holy shit.

Best bite of my life. Hands down. Food orgasm.

Best bite of my life. Hands down. Food orgasm.

Wow. Just. Wow.

Wow. Just. Wow.

60 accompaniments to the 5 types of duck. Holy wow.

60 accompaniments to the 5 types of duck. Holy wow.

Wow

Wow

"Truffle explosion"

"Truffle explosion"

Ginger palate cleanser.

Ginger palate cleanser.

Dessert

Dessert

Edible!

Edible!

And dessert literally turned our table into an art canvas.

And dessert literally turned our table into an art canvas.

Wow!

Wow!

Wow wow wow

Wow wow wow

Eating the helium apple balloon

Eating the helium apple balloon

  • Enamored 470668
  • One of the most beautiful plates (and tastes) I've ever experienced.  Squash blossom leaf tasted inc 470669
  • Burn baby burn 470670
  • Top three bite of all time. Holy wow. 470671
  • Be still my heart! That is a box of white truffles. Best smell of my life! 470672
  • Holy shit. 470673
  • Best bite of my life. Hands down. Food orgasm. 470674
  • Wow. Just. Wow. 470675
  • 60 accompaniments to the 5 types of duck. Holy wow. 470676
  • Wow 470677
  • "Truffle explosion" 470678
  • Ginger palate cleanser. 470679
  • Dessert 470680
  • Edible! 470681
  • And dessert literally turned our table into an art canvas. 470682
  • Wow! 470683
  • Wow wow wow 470684
  • Eating the helium apple balloon 470685

    • 3.0

To be honest the menu is quite exquisite and when I ordered the hot potato dish I was surprised that they came out a bit hard yet still enjoyable.  Overall a good place to dine in at.

Alinea

Just happened... Moments as a chef when shit changes.

Just happened... Moments as a chef when shit changes.

Sun choke with hazelnut brittle and white truffle vinegar was ridiculous.

Sun choke with hazelnut brittle and white truffle vinegar was ridiculous.

Frozen dark chocolate distillation.

Frozen dark chocolate distillation.

Graffiti, pistachio, black truffle and balsamic

Graffiti, pistachio, black truffle and balsamic

Started with some caviar...

Started with some caviar...

Our little camp fire... Hamachi, shishito, bean and pine branch. What we didn't know was in that fir

Our little camp fire... Hamachi, shishito, bean and pine branch. What we didn't know was in that fire was our next course cooking away.

  • Just happened... Moments as a chef when shit changes. 355817
  • Sun choke with hazelnut brittle and white truffle vinegar was ridiculous. 355820
  • Frozen dark chocolate distillation. 355822
  • Graffiti, pistachio, black truffle and balsamic 355827
  • Started with some caviar... 355828
  • Our little camp fire... Hamachi, shishito, bean and pine branch. What we didn't know was in that fir 355829

Alinea

5 hours around the dinner table; that may be a new record. My friends used to tease me in high schoo

5 hours around the dinner table; that may be a new record. My friends used to tease me in high school when my family would go out for dinner and I'd be off the grid for a few consecutive hours. But the truth is that some of our best conversations happen around the dinner table. We put away the technology and allow ourselves to be truly present with one another. Tonight was a very very special treat - a chance to experience one of the very best restaurants in our city and the culinary world. Creative ideas, flavors, textures, and presentation wowed us throughout the many dinner courses. Thank you to the whole Alinea team for a truly fantastic evening. So grateful to have enjoyed this wonderful dining experience with my favorite people, my family.

  • 5 hours around the dinner table; that may be a new record. My friends used to tease me in high schoo 578539

Information of Alinea

Location
1723 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60614
Phone Number
(312) 867-0110
Category
American (New) / Japanese
Average Price
$300+ | Dinner
Business Hours
Sun:5:00PM - 6:30PM
Mon:
Tue:
Wed:5:00PM - 6:30PM 8:00PM - 9:30PM
Thu:5:00PM - 6:30PM 8:00PM - 9:30PM
Fri:8:00PM - 9:30PM
Sat:5:00PM - 6:30PM 8:00PM - 9:30PM
Occasion
date / friends
Dress code
Formal
Reservation
Yes
Wi-Fi
Paid
Wheelchair accessible
Yes
Credit cards
Yes
Private dining
Yes
Outdoor dining
Yes
Smoking area
Yes
Late dining
Yes
Valet parking
Yes
Delivery
Yes
Takeout
No
Caters
Yes
Dogs allowed
No
Website
map

Quick Summary

[Overall]
Alinea is an American restaurant that is located on 1723 North Halstead Street in Chicago, Illinois. Alinea has a 4.5 star rating on 1159 reviews on Yelp and sports a beautiful location that is quite easy to find.
Food
Some popular items at Alinea are the hot potato, black truffle, scallops, tuna, duck, foie gras and the various desserts offered. The prices at Alinea are a bit expensive but the amazing presentation and quality make up for the prices.
Atmosphere
The attire at Alinea is formal and the ambience is classy. The overall atmosphere is very high class and fancy. Reviewers noted that there is no outdoor seating available and the noise level is quiet which is great for intimate conversations.
Service
The staff's attitudes at Alinea were professional and prompt. The waiters provided world class service and the chefs prepared the food with haste. Alinea takes reservations, accepts credit cards, has valet parking and is great for dinner."

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