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“Food as an Art”
Review of Alinea

Ranked #1 of 9,544 Restaurants in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $150 - $1,000
Cuisines: International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
Level Contributor
37 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Food as an Art”
Reviewed August 24, 2014

This was the best meal I can remember. Food was great, very tasty, but also very imaginative, most courses have a special presentation and story, so much fun. It was not only dining experience but also art performance. Service was also great, staff was pleasant and attentive. This is a place for somebody who enjoys fine, but modern and creative dining .

Visited April 2014
1 Thank Sophia4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,151 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • 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
Paris, France
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“performance over food”
Reviewed August 19, 2014

Alinea was an experience not to be forgotten! All in all extremely interesting but not my greatest meal out. The arrival is theatrical and a surprise including being seated below some artistically located good that later becomes part of the meal. The staff were attentive without being truly engaged and we felt almost part of a play that was being staged for their benefit not ours.
That said we had some outstanding dishes and some complete failures. Two notable failures were sucking soup out of a log with ergonomically impossible stainless straws resulting in sharing bodily fluids (I was with my wife so that was not a concern for us but in a group...) and the much vaunted desert on the table cloth - great performance but sickly sweet

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
4 Thank toitoi53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Mixed Feelings”
Reviewed August 19, 2014

After almost three years of talking about coming to Alinea my husband and I made it here to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. This place was a "bucket list" restaurant for my husband who is a chef himself. I didn't so much mind the price tag as this would be a "once in a lifetime" meal. I had emailed the restaurant prior to our arrival requesting, if possible, a brief stop by the table from Chef Achatz as my husband is quite an admirer, also stating that I understand he is surely very busy and understood if this request could not be accommodated. I received an email back stating that the request will be included in our reservation and that they would try to have the chef prepare our dessert at the table. We arrived about 30 minutes prior to our reservation and were invited to view the happenings in the kitchen while they prepared our table which was a treat for my husband. We were seated shortly thereafter and overall the staff were friendly, but somewhat arrogant at times. My husband had asked one of the servers earlier in the evening if people were "allowed" to speak to the chef when he came to the table and was basically told no in not so many words.Overall the experience was one of a kind, food was interesting and the presentations were fun, but I guess my biggest disappointment was that when Chef did come to the table to create our dessert that he couldn't be bothered with even greeting us with a "hello" or "thank you for coming." I didn't expect him to have a five minute conversation with us or pose for photo opps, but when you are spending a small fortune to eat at someone's restaurant I figured the least he could do was make eye contact with you and offer some graciousness. Maybe his genius in the kitchen doesn't allow for a personality in the dining room.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank Lisa D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
46 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Chicago's top dining experience”
Reviewed August 17, 2014

This was my second trip to Alinea and I was not disappointed. I am not a fan of their reservation system but it is a testament to what lengths consumers will go for an unbelievable dining experience.
It is pointless to review each course- needless to say some were unbelievable and others just ok. Make no mistake, however, it is the overall experience you go for. I will always remember eating a balloon for dessert or eating the last course off the table.
One tip I would suggest is to skip the wine pairing ($150 per person) and choose your own wine.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank gumby30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naples, Florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“BEST dinner of my LIFE!!!”
Reviewed August 14, 2014 via mobile

Best dinner, service, and experience of my life! I don't want to ruin the experience for future diners so all I will say is you will never have a meal like this ever again! It's worth the price of tickets and I want to go back every year! And a major plus....Grant was in the kitchen preparing the courses that night :)

Visited August 2014
1 Thank Samantha B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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