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The Alinea Project - General Discussion


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Web Site

We have finished development of Phase II of the Alinea website and are simply awaiting some photographic scans to be completed before we launch it -- likely by the end of January.  Unlike the trailer, this will be a site that includes photos of the food, detailed menus, and bios of the staff and the creative team.  As construction finishes, we will add interior and exterior shots of the restaurant itself, as well as update the content as Alinea evolves.

Please a humble request, if your phase 2 website contains flash, background music, an intro screen, a menu which you can't copy and paste or no contact details/menu/directions/prices, then fire your web designer and start back on phase 1.

It would be a shame for a team to have gotten everything else so RIGHT about how people think and play with their food to fall down and fundamentally misunderstand what people want from a webpage.

PS: I am a guy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have my reservation! Now the serious waiting begins. Any suggestions for comfortable, but not overly expensive nearby hotels?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I'm happy to report that I have my reservation as well. May 29th. I honestly don't think I am going to make it.

I hope you mean that you won't be able to survive that long, not that you intend not to go! :laugh:

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Joe Catterson, with whom many of us have conversed this week, won the Jean Banchet Award for Culinary Excellence last Friday:

Joe Catterson of the soon-to-open Alinea was named best sommelier for his work at Les Nomades . . .

Click here and here for more details.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I have my reservation too! Sunday May 15th for myself and two of my chef buddies! I agree with docsconz about the wait! 3 months! Nooooo!    :unsure:   I'll second docsconz question. Any decently priced hotels nearby???

I suggest considering Priceline or Hotwire and sticking to the 4* category. You should be able to get something between $50 and $110 per night depending in whther it's HW or PL and what part of downtown you're staying in.

Having previously stayed for a weekend in an area not far from where Alinea is located (sort of at the south end of the Loop), I'd suggest staying a bit further north towards Wacker Drive or even up by Lincoln Park or North Michigan Ave. where it's much livelier and more interesting at night and on weekends. This is assuming that you'll make a weekend of it and do a few things other than just the meal.

Not sure if the restaurant can make car service arrangements but it is best to check that out. Chicago has a very god public transportation but cabs are not always easy to find in some neighborhoods and I don't think you can call for cab service - they must be hailed on the street (Chicagoans please correct me if I'm wrong or my info is outdated!).

Egullet member "thereuare" has a great web site called Better Bidding that explains how to bid intelligently and get the lowest possible prices using services such as PL and HW. It's well worth a visit to do some quick research before your visit.

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I agree with Owen that using a 3rd-party, internet conduit would be a very good idea. You'll likely get a bargain on a room in a desirable area.

Neighborhood-wise, I would suggest Gold Coast, River North or the Loop. These locations are only short cab rides away from Alinea (Lincoln Park) and they both offer lots to do if you're coming for a 2-3 day visit. Lincoln Park is also a great neighborhood (for stuff to do) but I can't think of any hotels there off the top of my head.

As for cabs, they are definitely "callable" and most any restaurant will be happy to call one for you. And, in most cases, if you take a cab to a destination, the driver will be happy to give you a business card with information needed to arrange your return trip.

Since I live here, I'm not the best source of information for someone coming in from out of town. That said, I'll do what I can to answer any questions about visiting Chicago.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I have my reservation too! Sunday May 15th for myself and two of my chef buddies! I agree with docsconz about the wait! 3 months! Nooooo!    :unsure:   I'll second docsconz question. Any decently priced hotels nearby???

I suggest considering Priceline or Hotwire and sticking to the 4* category. You should be able to get something between $50 and $110 per night depending in whther it's HW or PL and what part of downtown you're staying in.

Having previously stayed for a weekend in an area not far from where Alinea is located (sort of at the south end of the Loop), I'd suggest staying a bit further north towards Wacker Drive or even up by Lincoln Park or North Michigan Ave. where it's much livelier and more interesting at night and on weekends. This is assuming that you'll make a weekend of it and do a few things other than just the meal.

Not sure if the restaurant can make car service arrangements but it is best to check that out. Chicago has a very god public transportation but cabs are not always easy to find in some neighborhoods and I don't think you can call for cab service - they must be hailed on the street (Chicagoans please correct me if I'm wrong or my info is outdated!).

Egullet member "thereuare" has a great web site called Better Bidding that explains how to bid intelligently and get the lowest possible prices using services such as PL and HW. It's well worth a visit to do some quick research before your visit.

As a Chicago resident, I have to jump in on this one.

There aren't really any hotels in the same neighborhood as Alinea. Your best bet would be to find something at the North end of Michigan Ave. or in the River North neighborhood. I've stayed at the Embassy Suites in River North before I moved to the city and it's pretty nice.

As for transportation, cabs are the way to go. Alinea is located extremely close to the Steppenwolf theatre on a pretty active stretch of Halsted at the southern end of Lincoln Park. I've never had trouble hailing a cab in the area.

BTW, I've got my reservation for May 28th. I don't think I've ever been this excited about a meal before.

-Josh

Now blogging at http://jesteinf.wordpress.com/

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As for transportation, cabs are the way to go.  Alinea is located extremely close to the Steppenwolf theatre on a pretty active stretch of Halsted at the southern end of Lincoln Park.  I've never had trouble hailing a cab in the area.

Another data point - Alinea is only a couple of blocks from the North/Clybourn El stop (although it's not really an El - it's a subway at that point). Easy access from downtown via the Red Line. Probably faster than a cab, but might be a bit declasse for someone dining at Alinea.

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As for cabs, they are definitely "callable" and most any restaurant will be happy to call one for you.

Unless you're stranded at 10:30 PM on a very funky corner of the South Side in front of the 24 hour Walgreen's where I was :laugh: That's probably why they told me that cabs were not "callable". As a matter of fact, most cabs won't even pick you up on the street in that location unless it's a cabbie who works that side of town regularly (I finally got lucky after trying for an hour and got myself to the Checkerboard Lounge in time for the second and third sets).

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As for cabs, they are definitely "callable" and most any restaurant will be happy to call one for you.

Unless you're stranded at 10:30 PM on a very funky corner of the South Side in front of the 24 hour Walgreen's where I was :laugh: That's probably why they told me that cabs were not "callable". As a matter of fact, most cabs won't even pick you up on the street in that location unless it's a cabbie who works that side of town regularly (I finally got lucky after trying for an hour and got myself to the Checkerboard Lounge in time for the second and third sets).

Sounds like you made the best of it but yes, the south side can be a whole "nuther" story. . . :wink::smile:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some more good Alinea buzz from Monifa Thomas in today's Chicago Sun-Times:

Achatz, a past winner of the prestigious James Beard Award for his work at Trio in Evanston, won't be accepting reservations for June until March 1.

"I can't even think of the last time a restaurant opened in Chicago with this long of a wait," said restaurant consultant Izzy Kharasch, president of Deerfield's Hospitality Works.

"It's not normal at all," said Carolyn Walkup, Midwest bureau chief for Nation's Restaurant News.

Chicagoans apparently starving for Alinea

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

Chef-

Who will be doing the presentation of the food durring service?

Edited by JWest (log)

"cuisine is the greatest form of art to touch a human's instinct" - chairman kaga

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Will there be Bread Service at Alinea? If so, What style of service, what types of breads, and accompaniments?

How will it affect the way people eat the courses?

JW

"cuisine is the greatest form of art to touch a human's instinct" - chairman kaga

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One inexpensive hotel option with consistently excellent service is the Hotel Allegro:

http://www.allegrochicago.com/

Should be an easy cab ride to the restaurant - and yes, you should have no problem finding a cab in that area. Another option more north is the Hilton Garden hotel - much quieter than the Hilton Towers, and cheaper with a complimentary breakfast - to all guests.

Just made reservations yesterday for June 11th. Simply cannot wait!

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ChefG,

What are your expectations of your cooks at Alinea? What will be the major differences between your expectations from Trio to Alinea? What types of skills do your cooks have that you are particularly looking for?

Thanks,

JW

"cuisine is the greatest form of art to touch a human's instinct" - chairman kaga

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Craigslist Chicago has a job listing for FOH at Alinea (Lincoln Park). Like backwaiters and bussers and shit.

Training starts in late April, job starts in May.

If you get the job, bring me a doggie bag. And one of Chef Achatz's sweaty socks.

Noise is music. All else is food.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I'll second Bicycle Lee's well-wishing. Good luck to all involved!

Is anyone going tonight or this week? We're not going until the 27th so I'll need to live vicariously through others until then.

Those who go first must promise full reports!

Again, good luck to Chef Achatz and team.

-Josh

-Josh

Now blogging at http://jesteinf.wordpress.com/

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I'll second Bicycle Lee's well-wishing.  Good luck to all involved!

Is anyone going tonight or this week?  We're not going until the 27th so I'll need to live vicariously through others until then.

Those who go first must promise full reports!

Again, good luck to Chef Achatz and team.

-Josh

I think yellow truffle is going tonight. We're going on Saturday and I cannot wait. I'm sure it's going to be quite an experience.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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