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No.34

Alinea

Chicago, USA

No.34

Artistic modernist cuisine built from the world’s best luxury ingredients

What makes it special: The key ingredient infused into every Alinea meal isn’t a mountain of caviar, or a fat puck of foie gras. Since Alinea’s debut in 2005, chef and owner Grant Achatz has built a reputation for designing dishes spiked with emotion; eliciting playful nostalgia from his diners via sophisticated riffs off a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or pheasant served with smouldering oak leaves – aromas of fall. 

What’s on the menu: Alinea has kept itself at the forefront of modern creativity via edible vanilla beans, langoustine yuba, crystal clear pumpkin pie and what has become Alinea’s most famous dish: an edible, helium-filled, floating balloon designed by former executive chef Mike Bagale.

Best seat in the house: To commemorate Alinea’s 10th birthday, Achatz shuttered his wildly successful restaurant for four months, giving the place a total overhaul. When Alinea reopened in June 2017, the temple of haute cuisine emerged with a clean and bright look, in addition to a new dining experience: a glassed-in kitchen table. With room for four to six diners, “The KT” is where guests embark on a lengthy bespoke menu, often with more than 22 courses.

Reliving the past: For those who missed out on some of Alinea’s most iconic dishes from the past, fear not. Next – Achatz’s nearby fine dining haunt that conceptually reinvents itself every four months – will offer two dining instalments dedicated to vintage Alinea menus. Alinea 2005-2015 runs June 30 to September 30, followed by Alinea 2011-2015 from October 6 to January 13, 2019.


On the pass

  • Chef-owner Grant Achatz (pictured) with Simon Davies

Pastry chef

Style of food

  • Cutting edge

Standout dish

  • Chocolate Mat

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