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[CHI] Alinea – Grant Achatz – Reviews & Discussion (Part 1)

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Yowza! So many questions, all of which I'm sure you planned to address eventually. Nevertheless, let me ask a few:

7-1/2 hours??? Was it manageable? How was the overall pacing? Do you think they'll compact that time frame eventually? Obviously, with such an arrangement, there's very little table turnover. The kitchen must be exhausted.

When was the ginger used in the meal?

It seems that the bubbles' position on a left to right basis may have something to do with the relative sweet/savoriness of a particular dish.

How did the specialized serving utensils/contraptions work out?

I have a ton of other questions, but I'll wait for your report. Thanks for the awesome photos.

Dean McCord


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After the cessation of information on the Alinea Project page, I kind of forgot about this place.

I am now drooling on my keyboard and simultaneously trying to schedule time to get to Chicago.

Very intriguing and impressive.

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WOW!!!!! Thanks. I thought about NOT looking at the photos, so I'd be more surprised when I eat there. But, like a kid trying to find where mon stashed the Christmas gifts before the big day, I couldn't wait.

I'm going on Sunday and the wait has been killing me. ChefG already has two spots on my personal "Top 10 Restaurant Meals of All Time" and I have a feeling a third is coming.

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I am eating there two weeks today and I cannot wait! I told myself that I would not read any reports before my meal, but I'm only human...:wink:

I'm interested in the timing too though...if one had a reservation for, say, 9:30 and ordered the tour, would they (and the kitchen and serving staff) be there until 4:30? Or did you just have very leisurely meal, Yellow Truffle?

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Thank you for the thorough post and the sensational photos. I can barely wait until we go to Alinea tomorrow night.

Having enjoyed the Tour de Force at Trio (when Grant was there) in just over 5 hours, I too am wondering about the duration of your meal. Can you elaborate a bit?


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

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

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The serving piece for the bison? Was that glass or some kind of acrylic?

The Strawberries Argan? Could you describe that in a bit of detail?

I notice that there is no ketchup on the table. Was this a problem?

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Thanks for all the great photos! The meal certainly was a work of art.

It looks like there's a lot of unique serving pieces. Does anyone know if they were designed specifically for these dishes?

Also, the fried bread looks like it's sitting on a folded napkin suspended in mid-air. Was someone holding it or is there something missing?

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It looks like there's a lot of unique serving pieces.  Does anyone know if they were designed specifically for these dishes?

Also, the fried bread looks like it's sitting on a folded napkin suspended in mid-air.  Was someone holding it or is there something missing?

There is a whole forum devoted to the The Alinea Project. A behind the scenes look at the making of this restaurant.

In that forum, there is a topic on Alinea Serviceware.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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the ginger was grated and the juice was used to flavor the beef with a1......also I saw another table get the same treatment for their snapper dish...

we did the tour in a little over 5 hours.......

i have to admit.....I would've had trouble sitting there for 7.5 hours, or anywhere for that matter........

the bison dish was fun you could smell it all over the restaurant and the flavors were fantastic, the tube was glass

I guess I don't need to post pics now...nice job yellow truffle


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NOTE: those are not "metal dowels" piercing that piece of raw ginger.

I believe those are acupuncture needles. If they are not, they are surely intended to be, though I've never seen them pierce flesh and come out the other side. At least not on my supine body.

And if they aren't, he should tell everyone that they are, as that would be a sublime visual joke that wouldn't be lost on me. Very clever indeed.

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