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“Expensive...and worth it” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Alinea

Alinea
Ranked #1 of 9,467 Restaurants in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $150 - $1,000
Cuisines: International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
Level Contributor
61 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Expensive...and worth it”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2014

Every year on our anniversary my wife and I book a tasting at Michelin starred restaurants. This year we decided to fly to Chicago just for this restaurant. We made our reservations 2 months in advance but this wasn't any different than our other tasting experiences (le Bernardin, Daniele, French Laundry) and we got the time we wanted. I had read Grant Achatz book before so I was waiting for this experience. As you walk down the shrinking hallway you feel like you're in Charlie and the chocolate factory. They knew exactly who we were as we walked in and they wished us a happy anniversary before taking us to our table. It did feel a little stuffy when we walked in as there was only one other table sat but as the dishes began coming out and the dining room filled the excitement was audible. There were exclamations of amazement, giggles and high pitched talking from one of the desserts(I don't want to spoil the dish for you). Overall the experience was amazing and everything "molecular" had a reason. I have had molecular food just as a show of technique and this was not it. We felt this way about the French Laundry, technique for the sake of technique. The flavors blew us away. While I have had better tasting dishes before, never have I had a food experience like this where every dish blew me away with all my senses. I won't go back right away but I will go back.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
5 Thank PeterSNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,109 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • 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
Atlanta, GA
Level Contributor
110 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Once in a lifetime experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2013

When it's all said & done, you're spending a lot on a meal here, but it's something I'll probably only do once, ever, so it's worth it, if you're interested in innovative cooking techniques and unique experiences. The service is phenomenal, but far from stuffy, and the meal is filling, delicious, surprising, and entertaining (and more). I would recommend not reading too much about it before going so that you can be surprised a little and fully immersed in the experience.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
3 Thank VisitTravelFun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“You have to expierience Alinea”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2013

It is something like a dream. You are part of performance or art installation.
You eat endless numbers of art installations or sculptures.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Agamaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
87 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Thanks for ruining future restaurant experiences....”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 24, 2013

It is an experience. From entering to leaving, you are treated to impeccable (friendly and kinda funny but never stuffy) service, an amazing 13 course meal that surprises and delights throughout with variations in temperature, texture, presentation- it is pretty interactive as well. I'm not sure you can get this type of food experience anywhere else- if so, I certainly haven't had it. Yes, it is pretty ridiculously expensive when all is said and done- particularly if you go with a wine pairing of any sort- but it is one of those things where at the end of the night, you feel like it was well worth it (and I'm a pretty frugal guy in general otherwise...). If you have an opportunity to go....do it.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
3 Thank somekg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A First Class Event”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2013 via mobile

The evening was a celebration for my son's graduation from the University of Chicago and it was a wonderful event. Fourteen amazing courses, the wine pairing choices, and the attention to details were beyond expectations. We all loved the hot potato, cold potato with black truffle and butter but the Wagyu with parsnip, black trumpet, and kombu was simple outstanding especially how it was prepared. ( I won't spoil the surprise. Very expensive but worth every penny.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Cindy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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