Alinea sits in the Ranch Triangle area of Chicago. It’s a very charming neighborhood with two way lanes and people wondering around the little shops. Alinea is in a converted home with multiple floors and a kitchen staff of 30 or so. The entrance is like walking into a spaceship where the door behind you closes first then the entrance reveals itself. Here are notable Alinea’s accolades:
- 3 Michelin stars since 2010
- #15 on the 2016 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
- #26 on the 2015 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
- #26 on the 2015 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
- #9 on the 2014 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
- #15 on the 2013 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
- #7 on the 2012 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
- #6 on the 2011 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
- #7 on the 2010 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
- #10 on the 2009 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
- #21 on the 2008 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
It has more awards than Jay Z, Kanye West, Beyonce, and Kim Kardashian. Well, a porn tape isn’t really an award. Anyway, Grant Achatz is the owner and executive chef at Alinea and he’s an alumni of Thomas Keller’s French Laundry. With every French Laundry alumni, Chefs gain instant fame but they also want to distinguished themselves from their mentor and find their own unique expression. However, unlike the Kardashians, they’re all pretty much the definition of basic without talent offering no value to society. Actually, I take that back. They give motivation to every basic out there that they too can add no value to society.
The service is definitely on the level of every Michelin 3 starred restaurant I’ve eaten at. I always make sure to have the wait staff call me “your majesty” whenever they serve me. Alinea is no different cause they happily obliged. The detail explanations of the dishes were great and the attentive wait staff were very friendly as they bowed when addressing me as Your Majesty. Like how Your Majesty always does, Your Majesty make a point to mention all the restaurants he has eaten at when he is dining at restaurant of Alinea’s caliber even though he was wearing jeans, sneakers and a 2pac t-shirt. In addition, Your Majesty will make sure the whole restaurant hears him mention these restaurants, so everyone knows Your Majesty is on a whole different level than them. People would think being called “Your Majesty” would bring the point home but some people need a reminder of the greatness sitting next to them.
Also, there are a few routines Your Majesty follows when he is dining at one of the Best Restaurants in the World. Your Majesty will check-in on all his social media accounts to let people know how fantastic his life is compared to their lives. Your Majesty will make sure he takes a lot of pictures so he could post them next week on Instagram and add a #TBT. Furthermore, Your Majesty will take a picture of the receipt to post on Yelp to let everyone know he is spending hundreds of dollars on a meal as they review local restaurants. Finally, Your Majesty will make sure he gives Alinea a bad review on Yelp and complain about the price of the meal when he was fully informed before dining here. Your Majesty will still go through with the meal even though he can’t afford the meal and the price made him cringe. Why? Your Majesty is a type of person who will jump in front of an 18 big rig wheeler going 100 mph and wonder why he ended up in the hospital.
Now, El Foodo. That’s food for you folks who don’t speak Spanish. The molecular gastronomy aka Techno-emotional cuisine aka Avant-garde cuisine is an interesting way to do things. Whatever you want to call it. It’s amazing. The presentation totally blew Your Majesty’s mind as he never experience some of the things Achatz has done at Alinea even though he has dined at some of the Best Restaurants in the World.
- Pebble – The dish resemble pebbles on the beach. It’s Ebi, Ogo and Clam Shells. The overall taste of the dish was interesting and very fresh in nature. They asked Your Majesty to imagine being on a beach while they explained the dish. However, Your Majesty was having a hard time cause the only thing he could imagine were hot dogs on the beach sands. Your Majesty was more interested in the details of the dish as he has no knowledge of how it was prepared, but pretending he knew with a “That’s brilliant!”
- Chocolate – Crystal clear chocolate by frozen distillation. They pretty much took chocolate, purified it and removed all the bad parts of the chocolate. It was a total trip to eat cause peasants usually think of chocolate being dark or white. However, the chocolate was clear and it totally messes with one’s mind when he or she is eating it. However, Your Majesty was impressed with the presentation, but it wasn’t nothing he has not encountered in the past of being a Gold Status Yelp Elite.
- Graffiti – Hazelnut, Perigord and Balsamic served on a cement plate. It was inspired by Noma’s foraging concept. Grant Achatz dined at Noma and it gave him the idea of bringing the Chicago streets to the dinner table. The dish was apart of the dessert portion of the menu. The sweet hazelnut and perigord looked like pieces of a broken wall. The syrupy and sweet balsamic looked like spray paint on the wall. Grant Achatz…the Banksy of the culinary world?
- Balloon – It’s a Green Apple flavor taffy balloon filled up with helium. It’s ingenious and a fun experience to eat it. It’s definitely delicate to handle cause Your Majesty saw it deflate on a chef many times before he got to the dining room. People get the whole helium affect on their voice like a guy getting kicked in the you know what. However, Your Majesty is so grand that the helium got the Your Majesty effect on itself as Your Majesty consumed the balloon.
Finally, Alinea is the epitome of a dining experience. They take you through a journey with every dish. From the Pebbles to the Balloon to the Graffiti plate. Concrete jungle. It’s like a jungle sometimes. It makes me wonder if I’m going under. It’s cause I’m Your Majesty. Your Majesty would definitely recommend Alinea if peasants or noblemen want a complete dining journey. It’s creative, innovative and a stand out in its class. It can’t be labeled as culinary art because it’s simply art. Lastly, it would be ridiculous and rude to compare Alinea to El Celler De Can Roca. A restaurant considered the best restaurant in the world for many years and Your Majesty could not secure reservations when he was in Spain. However, the peasant two seats down bellowed Alinea is a much better experience than El Cellar as he referred to himself as a third person.
What a pretentious douche.
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- Service - 8.5/108.5/10
- Presentation - 9.5/109.5/10
- Flavors - 7/107/10
- Decor - 8/108/10
- Ambiance - 8/108/10
Grant Achatz provides a full culinary journey as he takes you through the different courses. Each course’s presentation was impressive and creative like one of the finest works of art in the world. It was well worth the experience and it’s time for Your Majesty to complain about the price on Yelp.