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Alinea or Moto? - Having trouble deciding


Elrushbo
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elrushbo.

really depends on what kind of experience your looking for. personally, i favor moto (been once) over alinea (been twice). strictly personal preference.

u.e.

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elrushbo.

really depends on what kind of experience your looking for.  personally, i favor moto (been once) over alinea (been twice).  strictly personal preference.

u.e.

I am looking for a 'fun' experience, I've never done a real multi course dinner and want to try that. I find Moto and Alinea appealing in that they both seem to appeal to all your senses, but I do consider taste to be the most important. I want to walk away having had an 'experience' not just a good meal. I was leaning towards Alinea, but after seeing pics here and on the websites, I look at half of the pics of Alinea food and think "What is that? where I look at pics of the food at Moto and think "That looks good!"

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The food at Alinea tastes better. The food at moto is wackier, fwiw, some of it is quite good. Like some other people on this board, I consider Alinea to be the finest restaurant in the country, it plays in a different league than Moto.

However, if you've never done a tasting menu before, Alinea's food may be a bit difficult to understand...no offense meant, its just very intellectual, complex food, and I believe you would get more out of the experience once you have experienced less rarefied tasting menus. Go to Spring, or Le Francaise or Zealous, or any of the other wonderful Chicago restaurants and have tasting menus.

Going to Alinea without ever having done a tasting menu is like going the the museum of modern art with no previous knowledge of art and art history. You'll still have a good time, but you'll be missing a whole lot.

Just my opinion.

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Going to Alinea without ever having done a tasting menu is like going the the museum of modern art with no previous knowledge of art and art history. You'll still have a good time, but you'll be missing a whole lot.

Just my opinion.

Under normal circumstances I would consider this to be a pretentious statement. In this case, however, it's completely accurate.

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not to make the decision any harder, but have you thought about going to TRU?

I had never really done a multi course tasting menu until eating at TRU last march and I have since fallen in love with doing such menus. The grand tasting menu had numerous things that were all excellent with many familiar, but still quite different touches. Just a though.

I also loved Alinea just as much, although it is extremely different. I think I appreciated Alinea much more having been to TRU first and experience cuisine and service at that level one time before.

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I am looking for a 'fun' experience,

Based on this statement - then I would definitely push you toward Moto... I personally found the experience there much more interactive and entertaining.

I find Moto and Alinea appealing in that they both seem to appeal to all your senses, but I do consider taste to be the most important. I want to walk away having had an 'experience' not just a good meal.

I found my (one) visit to Moto to be much more well-rounded in this respect than (both) my visits to Alinea.

I was leaning towards Alinea, but after seeing pics here and on the websites, I look at half of the pics of Alinea food and think "What is that? where I look at pics of the food at Moto and think "That looks good!

IMHO, I would agree, and having eaten at both, I could say that overall, that's true to some extent.

The food at Alinea tastes better. The food at moto is wackier, fwiw,

I disagree, but so goes personal preferences...

no offense meant, its just very intellectual, complex food, and I believe you would get more out of the experience once you have experienced less rarefied tasting menus.

I would have to agree with noambenami and BryanZ here.

Go to Spring, or Le Francaise or Zealous, or any of the other wonderful Chicago restaurants and have tasting menus.

... or the Avenues!

ulterior epicure.

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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The food at Alinea tastes better. The food at moto is wackier, fwiw, some of it is quite good. Like some other people on this board, I consider Alinea to be the finest restaurant in the country, it plays in a different league than Moto.

However, if you've never done a tasting menu before, Alinea's food may be a bit difficult to understand...no offense meant, its just very intellectual, complex food, and I believe you would get more out of the experience once you have experienced less rarefied tasting menus. Go to Spring, or Le Francaise or Zealous, or any of the other wonderful Chicago restaurants and have tasting menus.

Going to Alinea without ever having done a tasting menu is like going the the museum of modern art with no previous knowledge of art and art history. You'll still have a good time, but you'll be missing a whole lot.

Just my opinion.

I've been to many of the best restaurants in Vegas, and Michael Mina's Aqua in SF before he left and his new place in SF, some very 'adventurous' places, so I'm hardly new to great restaurants but I've never done a 'grand tour.' I'm sure I'll go to both Moto and Alinea in due time as I live about four hours away, I appreciate the help in deciding.

Does Alinea play music? Do they serve wine by the glass? Cocktails?

Edited by Elrushbo (log)
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not to make the decision any harder, but have you thought about going to TRU?

I had never really done a multi course tasting menu until eating at TRU last march and I have since fallen in love with doing such menus.  The grand tasting menu had numerous things that were all excellent with many familiar, but still quite different touches.  Just a though.

I also loved Alinea just as much, although it is extremely different.  I think I appreciated Alinea much more having been to TRU first and experience cuisine and service at that level one time before.

I am considering Tru, I have heard so many good things about it. I am trying to consider my dad in all this, he's adventurous but I've never known him to go to a seriously eclectic place. But then, it may be like the kind of gift that you love, and appreciate cause you wouldn't have thought to get it for yourself.

How was the food at Tru? Which menu did you do?

Edited by Elrushbo (log)
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We did several menus. My father and I did the 9 course so all of our courses were different except for the amuse and caviar staircase.

my mother had the 8 course grand tasting menu and my fiancee had the vegetarian tasting menu. It was wonderful with everyone having different courses so we could pass plates around and try nearly 4 times as many courses than if we had just eaten our own.

food consisted of everything from kobe beef tartare, duck, tuna, pasta, mushroom soup, foie gras, caviar...........pretty much anything (thats luxurious) on the air, earth, and sea. No complaints were heard about anything, merely lots of ooooohs and "oh my gods!" and "you have to taste this"

I also thought the individual wine pairings with each course were some of the best I've ever had. While the wines at Alinea were also exceptional, pairings are a bit trickier in that some wines are meant for multiple courses as so many of the courses are only a single bite.

My family and I spent about 4-5 hours at each place doing either the 9 courses at TRU or the 12 course (which became 17 course) menu at Alinea.

My father sounds a bit like yours in that he did enjoy the creativity of Alinea, but I think he really appreciated the more "tradtional" approaches used at TRU.

Edited by babern38 (log)
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Does Alinea play music? Do they serve wine by the glass? Cocktails?

I don't recall any music, if there was any, it was quiet.

Yes, they have wine matches for almost all of the courses on the menu, plus an excellent wine list.

I didn't order any cocktails at Alinea, but I was served some cocktail-ish drinks at Trio which were exquisite. Definitely an option to consider. The chef at Alinea wouldn't allow anything to be served his guests that wasn't terrific. He's funny that way. :).

Noam

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No music or cocktails at Alinea. But, as noambenami posted above, Alinea has put a lot of time and care into developing a wine flight program in which they match up wines with the courses. It isn't a 1:1 ratio but instead, about 15 wines/spirits which cover 24-28 courses, depending on the specific time of your visit. Within the wine pairings, there are usually different tiers offered as well. The standard flight which accompanies the Tour is usually priced at about 2/3 the price of the Tour. An upgraded wine flight is usually closer to the same price as the Tour.

=R=

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  • 1 year later...

I'm going to be in Chicago for a day in August and would like to try one of these restaurants. I have never experienced this type of restaurant before - the menus of both restaurants sound fascinating! I'd appreciate some suggestions as to which restaurant would be a better selection for someone new to this style of gastronomy. Thanks for all your help.

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