Alinea, a profound dining experience

Though this website is not meant to chronicle restaurant experiences, an exception has to be made for Alinea. This restaurant is perhaps the most amazing dining experience I have come across. It’s not just the food or the service, but how everything is put together. Also, taking into account that this was my 3rd time at Alinea, I thought I already knew what to expect. Needless to say, I was wrong. Despite my previous experiences in this restaurant, I was yet again taken completely by surprise at how mind blowingly delicious the food is.

I have dined at restaurants higher up in the San Pellegrino top 100, yet to me, Alinea exceeds them. Like I said, it’s not just the food, but everything put together. From the serviceware (or lack thereof in some dishes), to the way the food is simply brought to you. They put a new definition of preparing food tableside. The level of creativity in that restaurant is simply astonishing, and the execution of it was perfect. In fact, when some dishes arrived on the table, my friend and myself simply couldn’t help but say “what the fuck is going on here”, in a happily surprised tone of course. The dishes were brilliant.

Really, the food was so profound, that as a cook it made me question my life. That is no exaggeration, and I have met people who have experienced the same feelings after dining at Alinea. It sets the benchmark while obliterating any standards you previously had. It changes your ideas of what can be done to food. Quite simply, it was profound.

Here are some photos showing just what I am talking about. I will only show some though.

1. oyster leaf, mussel, razor clam and crab served on seaweed and drift wood.

2. 3 cuts of lamb, each cookeddifferently, with SIXTY garnishes!

3. 5 kinds of ginger, each with different components.

4. dessert plated on the table. First time that someone has peas as a desert component.

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About torontofoodlab

Chef of Toronto Food Lab, a GPI division. View all posts by torontofoodlab

2 responses to “Alinea, a profound dining experience

  • Ian

    I had the great fortune to do the kitchen table tasting at Aviary on a Friday, and then Alinea on the Saturday. Was an amazing weekend in Chicago, for sure. Even now, occasionally one of the dishes pops into my head and I marvel.

  • w0wbagger

    I had the great fortune to do the kitchen table cocktail tasting at Aviary on a Friday, followed by dinner at Alinea on the Saturday night. Truly an amazing weekend in Chicago (followed by coincidentally meeting Grant at The Drawing Room later that evening!). Even now, occasionally a dish (or a cocktail!) from that weekend pops into my head and I marvel.

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