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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk onefootoutthedoor's Avatar
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    Default Has Anyone Here Ever Eaten At Alinea Restaurant In Chicago?

    I'm just curious. They have a 27 course tasting menu and are regarded as one of the best restaurants in The United States. It's on my wish list of places to eat at. If anyone has eaten there, or know someone who has, please share your story.
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  2. #2
    Baluchitherium steve mcqueen's Avatar
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    It's on my short list as well....you can have tasting menus that range from 8 courses to 28, and diners are advised to be willing to spend at least 3 hours dining......The Chef, Grant Achatz is in the forefront of the "Molecular Gastronomy" movement, which is a style of cooking that ulitizes scientific cooking methods as opposed to more traditional ways of cooking.....ie; using exteme hot/cold gases to cook or freeze....sous vide.....immusion circulators.....It also involves not only the skill and art of cooking, but an understanding of "why" different foods react to hot and cold or their enviorment, an almost complete reconstuction to the approach of cooking....Chef Achatz has been known to serve edible menus (house made rice paper printed with squid ink) just as an example of how he is strechting the culinary boundries....

    On a kind of a tragic note...last year Achatz contracted some form of cancer of the mouth, which is now in remission, but the resulting therapy has effected his palate.....the worst possible thing to happen to a chef.

    onefoot?.....why the sudden interest in sous vide and and restaurants in the forefront of molecular gastronomy?

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk onefootoutthedoor's Avatar
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    Cooking is something that interests me very much. While I am by no means a professional at all, I enjoy watching & reading about cooking very much. We live in a somewhat small condo with a pretty small kitchen so while I do love to cook at home, I wish we had a bigger place sometimes (mainly to put more cooking equipment). I love eating out as well and love tasting menus as a way of getting a little bit of everything good. The only problem is that my wife is a picky eater so she either sucks it up and makes do for a night, or she doesn't want to go at all. So far here in the city I've been to Michael Mina, Gary Danko, and The Dining Room at The Ritz Carlton (so far the Dining Room has been my favorite). I am working on getting reservations to The French Laundry next, but like I mentioned before, I need to coax the wife a bit. I also picked up The French Laundry cookbook the other day as well. Keller did a great job with that book, IMO. Even if I am never able to pull off any recipes in there, it is still fascinating for me to read.
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  4. #4
    Baluchitherium steve mcqueen's Avatar
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    The French Laundry is the place.....maybe the best restaurant in the U.S.....I ate there a few years back and was seriously depressed for weeks...I remember going back to work the next day, started to saute some onions for a soup, and just throwing down the spoon and said "What's the use?.....I suck....I'll never be as good as Thomas Keller....why even go on?".....I got over it, but I had the perfect meal at French Laundry.

    really, if you are thinking of going to Alinea, then without a doubt you would have to go to French Laundry first.....Chef at Alinea was Keller's Sous Chef at FL for a year or so.....it would be interesting to see where he came from, creative-wise....and what influences he brought with him to Alinea from Keller.

    Damn.....it's cool to live in SF ain't it?....one of the best food towns in the world

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk onefootoutthedoor's Avatar
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    SF is a great food town. I also want to try Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Have you happened to try Coi in North Beach yet? It's supposed to be good, from what I hear.
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  6. #6
    Baluchitherium steve mcqueen's Avatar
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    haven't been to Coi yet.....the Chef/Owner there used to be the chef at Frisson...he made his name there due to a different approch to cooking where he highlighted not only taste and presentation to his plate, but also aroma....adding an "aroma therapy" sense to his cuisine.....he even wrote a book about the sense of smell and the part it plays in cooking.....his name is Daniel Patterson if you want to check it out....from what I heard, Coi is all about infused oils and foams right now.....I also heard that business there isn't good, so might be a good idea to check it out before it closes...

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk onefootoutthedoor's Avatar
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    Purely speculation on my part, but I think that some of that may have to do with their location. They're right on the fringe of the Broadway strip club strip and the weekend nights especially, get a lot of the bridge and tunnel knucklehead crowd cruising around. If their location was somewhere else, they may be doing a bit better. Then again, I could be totally wrong.
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  8. #8
    Atomic Punk onefootoutthedoor's Avatar
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    Coi is walking distance from where I live so I may just go on a lark one night.
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