Reasons Why Alinea (Chicago, IL) is Cool:
  2. Chef Grant Achatz was diagnosed with tongue cancer in 2008 and subsequently lost his sense of taste as a result of chemotherapy and radiation.
  3. It is currently the #10 Restaurant in the World.
  4. Chef Grant Achatz studied under Thomas Keller at the age of 23.
  5. The readily apparent focus on the play between flavors and textures.

The functional centerpiece - to be continued.

Flatware was set up before each course on top of a padded plate.

Steelhead Roe - with traditional garnishes, including creme fraiche and "bread and butter" in the form of foam.

Pork Belly - with compressed iceberg lettuce, cucumber, micro cilantro, coriander seeds, and a "thai distillation" shot (background) to prep the palate.

Lilac - with scallop, mussels, razor clams, celery leaves, and honeydew foam.

Wagyu Beef - with powdered A-1, fried potato custard covered with crushed salt & pepper chips and micro chives.

The chef tried to recreate the flavors of A-1, but with natural ingredients and in powder form.

It just deserves another photo.

A broth was poured into "functional centerpiece" to create the aroma of a grill. And also to make our table look awesome.

Heirloom Tomato - with fig, nicoise olive, pine nut cheese, and olive oil snow (THAT WHITE THING IS OLIVE OIL).

Bacon - wrapped with butterscotch, apple, and thyme.

Lavender air filled pillow.

Rhubarb - with goats milk cheesecake, vidalia onion, and lavender air (COMING FROM THE PILLOW).

These weren't all the courses from the tasting menu, but gives you a pretty good sense of our dining experience. An "experience" was exactly what it was - you can't even call it a mere "meal." Anyways, I wish the photos turned out better (or that there was better lighting/I had a faster lens/I wasn't so hungry) because the food was truly beautiful. Not to take away from the TASTE of the food, of course, b/c MAN DID YOU SEE THE MARBLING ON THAT WAGYU.

10 comments :: Alinea

  1. Wow food looks very appetizing it!

  2. Ohhh wow! Fantastic presentation. it looks too good to be eaten.
    Great pics.

  3. These are like arts ! never have that in my country

  4. I just finished reading Ruhlman's book mentioning Alinea. I was definitely planning on making a stop there on the upcoming Chicago trip. Chef Achatz is a great chef (been to Trio) and it's unfortunate what happened to him. Hoping I get your restaurant spreadsheet soon!!! You've made me so much more anxious about this meal!!!v

    p.s. photos look wonderful!

  5. wow-- it looks amazing! i imagine it to be very diff than the more traditional French Laundry?

    Wagyu Beef = WOWyu beef. i must try!!!

  6. Yay! I love seeing Alinea posts. Great photos! At least your camera battery didn't die. I too was not prepared for this "experience". I call it Cirque du Soleil on food steroids. Can't wait to see the rest!

    BTW, did you get the book? I so wanted to take a washcloth in the bathroom. :)

  7. isnt it amazing how science and food comes together!

  8. Mmmmm... way too beautiful to eat. I'd be happy just staring at it. LOL Nawww... I wanna taste them!!

  9. wow. everything is absolutely droolworthy.

  10. Each dish is like a work of art, so amazing! I really dig your blog :)

    <3 Christine
    What Was I Thinking?

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