Alinea

This post has very little to do with technology and venture capital. Every once in a while I like to share things with all of you that simply blow me away. This post is about a restaurant in Chicago that I went to thursday evening with my friends Dick and Eric. Dick has been telling me for quite a while that I had to go there. And so we did. And we had a meal that I don't think I'll ever forget.

Alinea is the creation of an amazing chef named Grant Achatz. He is a food artist and his food challenges every convention and then some. I've been to restaurants, like WD50 in NYC, that attempt to do the same. I've always felt the adventure in these restaurants compromises the taste they deliver. But Grant has figured out how to combine absolutely amazing tastes with adventursome presentations and that is why Alinea is one of the top restaurants in the world.

You don't order at Alinea. You simply choose between the 12 and 24 course tasting menus and decide if you want them paired with wine. We did the 12 course paired with wine. Here is our menu. Every diner is presented with one on their way out.

Alinea menu

While every dish was amazing, my favorites were the pork belly, the foie gras, the crab, the wagyu beef, the bubble gum, and the chocolate.

The chocolate is prepared directly on the table. They clear the table, lay down a special table cloth, and Grant and one of his chefs come out and literally "paint" the table with chocolate, berry sauce, and malted cold chunks. Here's a photo I took of the presentation.

They serve the desert on the table at Alinea in Chicago

Alinea is expensive and it is also hard to get a reservation. Be prepared to spend in excess of $200 per head and possibly as much as $300. It's not something I would do often, maybe only once (I've got to go back with the Gotham Gal), but it is an incredible dining experience and easily in my top ten all time.

If you love food and memorable dining experiences and don't mind spending the money, make sure to visit Alinea next time you are in Chicago. I promise you that you won't be disappointed.

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