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“You will never eat "food" again”
Review of Alinea

Alinea
Ranked #1 of 9,531 Restaurants in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$ 150 - US$ 1,000
Cuisines: International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighbourhood: Lincoln Park
Zella
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“You will never eat "food" again”
Reviewed 23 April 2012

It starts off slow: a simple steelhead roe in a spoon that could be an amuse bouche at many restaurants. But the flavors are better, fresher, cleaner. The table is black wood, almost IKEA like in simplicity. The second course lets you know this is not the usual eatery. Four different coquillage ( mussel, razor clam, oyster leaf and crab) arrive balanced on a mound of fresh seaweed arranged on a piece of driftwood. Welcome to another world of food. Impeccable service, fairly priced wines, surprises with every course, and, just fun. Some courses not perfect but others beyond sublime. Think otoro with green curry foam. My wife does not like cooked or poached berries but could not resist the blueberry, sorrel, macadamia desert. On leaving we remarked that we could not eat "regular" food again. At least until breakfast.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank ilaser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,141 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
47 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Amazing”
Reviewed 23 April 2012

There is a price tag associated with this very special dining extravaganza, and for us it was worth it. While this may be called a restaurant, it is truly an experience that indulges all the senses. 16 courses (all small, and sumptuous bites full of flavor) and 11 wine parings (we chose the regular flight @ $150/pp rather than the reserve flight $300/pp). Our dining experience with tip, $985.00. Yes, $$$$$$$$ mega-expensive but you are paying for exceptional food and drinks, you truly have a experience that delights all senses, and Chef Grant Achatz serves dessert table side. Chef Achatz is quite, intense, precise, and in complete control while you feel as though your are in the presence of a celebrity, which you are! It was a wonderful ... a once in a lifetime experience. Loved every minute of it!

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Jaco1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malmo, Sweden
Level Contributor
43 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“A most exiting playful experience”
Reviewed 22 April 2012

After reading some of the reviews here on tripadvisor I get kind of surprised. I'm really not sure of what some people are expecting of alinea.

For sure, Alinea is one of the very best restaurants on the planet and it happens to be located in Chicago. However, the restaurant has absolutely nothing to do with American cuisine or food traditions. But there it is, and oh boy they do know how to create a lovely experience (i.e. no big pieces of meat, not staff coming every minute asking if everything is great a very non American experience if you ask me, being european).

However, fantastic presentation, awesome precision, playful dished that challenges your imagination, your expectation and tastebuds. Everything we got tasted fantastic and was just perfect in its composition, but the plate with 60 tastes to combine with the lamb was just mind blowing.

Staff is knowledgeable and alert and enthustiastic of what they do.

And the price? It's a bargain for what they offer. I'd just prefer that they've been located in Barcelona or so, but I'll survive.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank ChristianLundsson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Overrated”
Reviewed 21 April 2012

The one star is for presentation of food and the wait staff. We spent a lot of money on dinner for 2 and we are still traumatized by all the foam, jelly, slime texture in the food.

My friend from NYC is a total foodie I live in Seattle and eat at all the cutting edge expensive restaurants. We know good food and this restaurant is the most over hyped place hyped place we have ever been.

We are still laughing over the "time sensitive" food. I started out by taking pics of the food by dish number 5 I was taking pics at us laughing at the food and trying to choke some of it down. We had a great time and thank God the money was not an issue for us. I would be livid if I had saved up for this jelly, slimed textured truffle fishy flavored food.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
57 Thank Judy N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Very out-there cuisine!”
Reviewed 18 April 2012

I loved my dinner at this cutting edge restaurant. My favorite part of the meal, was the dessert, literally served on the table. The service was also very accomplished, too. It was not cheap, but, that's the way it goes when the experience is so original.

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank T S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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