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“Amazing! Once-in-a-lifetime experience” 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: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
Long Beach, California
Level Contributor
29 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Amazing! Once-in-a-lifetime experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2014

My wife and I have done many a 3-star Michelin restaurant around the world. This place truly is an absolute gem and completely worth the price and the effort to get reservations. Firstly, the process is based on a ticket system. You pay one price (excluding wine) that includes service and gratuity. Secondly, it is in a nondescript building that does not indicate nor reveals the magnificent place inside. The kitchen is the first room you see on the first floor and it is absolute silence and concentration. It is organized chaos and you can feel the energy of creativity in the air as staff works to prepare the masterpieces you enjoy during dinner. Service is perfect! It is precise yet relaxed. You can tell that the staff truly enjoys working at Alinea and it is reflected in the way they treat their guests. Our staff was constantly joking with us, with each other. I will not divulge what was served so that it surprise you when you visit but I think it suffice to say you will be WOWED, wooed, amazed and absolutely satisfied with the entire experience. To close off dinner, dessert is in of itself a truly magical experience.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank El Gaby M
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
lexington
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Different enjoyment”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2014 via mobile

I will leave the review for the professionals, lol. Alinea was such a new experience that I have a hard time coming up with a review. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed Alinea!

  • Visited July 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank rgerald
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Kentucky
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Artistic and Pleasantly American”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2014

It is very difficult to review this restaurant. You do not want to tell a story when you recommend a great musical. It was not just a great food; it was an experience; it was an adventure. I recommend not to research what it is like to eat here. All I can tell is:1. a lot of dishes of very small portion for each so that you can enjoy many things; 2, Every dish is very original; 3. They do not give you the menu but simply asks you if there is any food that you want to avoid.

Those knowledge and nothing more is probably the best preparation for this restaurant. Alinea changed my perception of what a restaurant can do. So enjoy!

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank nobumasu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
233 reviews
166 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“Posh, yet laid-back”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2014

It is a three star Guide Michelin restaurant, and in these cases I am always extra picky when writing my review. I believe it goes without saying that based on the pricings all elements have to be perfect as far as service, food and atmosphere goes. In this review I will not write about the servings and presentations at all, because I do not want to spoil the surprise moments for any of Alineas future guests, I will only say this; there are a few surprises, some of them mind blowing and all of them wonderfully composed. The pictures will have to speak for themselves; unfortunately they are a bit dark hence to the fact that Alinea does not allow the usage of flash.

+ The way the reservations are made, you purchase a ticket online. The ticket price included a menu of 16 courses; a 20% service charge is added.

- The bill that comes after dining (for beverages) also has a 20% service charge added, as well as an empty field for even extra tip, which is rather odd. If you have already decided that your staff is getting 20% whether they did a good job or not, then you shouldn’t have a field on the bill that allows patrons to tip even extra, it should be consistent in both ways, or it can get awkward for the guest.

+ The atmosphere is very nice

+ Upon arrival our taxi driver stopped at another restaurant, telling us this must be it because of the address we gave him, which made us a bit confused. However as soon as we got out of the car, a man approached us asking us if we were there for Alinea, and as we nodded he took us straight through. The entrance is kind of secret; after all it is Chicago, where the speak-easies used to rule.

+ Waiters are well spoken, knowledgeable, yet laidback in a way

- At times some of them were a bit too laidback, when chatting amongst themselves

Overall I would have to say that the experience was amazing, the food was superb, and the visit was so much worth it. I am already looking forward to trying their other restaurants.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank sokriw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Missouri City, Missouri
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Magic”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2014

The entire experience was phenomenon. It was just like magic. The way they created their craft is out of this world.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Thomas G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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