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  • AMBIANCE 4/5
  • SERVICE 9/10
  • SELECTION 1/15
  • FOOD 10/10
  • VALUE 9/10
  • OVERALL 18/20
DietPepsican  (63) @ $13.99, Iowa | December 20, 2015| Updated May 30, 2016
Why is this on here? Whatever. I was served a sake, no beer, so the "selection" was pretty bad. Only 2 options for drinking were offered on arrival, a standard pairing and a reserve pairing. The standard runs $150, reserve was $250. All of the pairings were nice really, maybe not the sake.

The ambiance of this place is fine. The hallway walking in, the 5 minutes of hanging out in the (spotless, quiet) kitchen, and the seating is more than comfortable for a meal of this length.

Service is Spot on. A touch cold, arrogant, ruthless, damn near flawless. But still, only damn near flawless. A few miscues a night shouldn’t happen at a 3 star level, but we are human.

The food overall was great, probably top 5 meal experiences I’ve had. They really try to hit you visually, aromatically, and personally. This is difficult to describe, but certain flavor and aroma combinations brought me to different places in my life Pretty damn neat. Like all tasting menus, you get some things that you don’t care for. Ginger five ways was gross. The edible balloon wasn’t much of a thrill, and the final dessert tasted like shitty hot chocolate. Also, for a final course it’s way too large, probably the biggest portion of the evening. .

Value wise, it’s about on par of other restaurants of its caliber. Expect to drop $550-$675 per person depending on what pairings you choose after tax and tip. I’m giving scores based on what I expect from this place, so my idea of "value" may be higher than yours.

Overall, Alinea was quite an experience from start to finish. I plan on returning again around the same time as I went last year as I’ve heard the menu has been overhauled quite a bit and course count is higher. Really looking forward to it for everything but the beer selection, which again, sucks.

Update! Went again last month. Food was flawless. So much so I’m going back in September and possibly in November before they shut down. This meal was easily the best of my life, and quite a step up from the last experience. Check it out before it closes.

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Seventh Visit (Alinea 2.0)
  • AMBIANCE 5/5
  • SERVICE 10/10
  • SELECTION 1/15
  • FOOD 10/10
  • VALUE 1/10
  • OVERALL 1/20
chibuck  (588) Chicago, Illinois | November 17, 2013
world class good, world class wine, very skimpy on the beer. They should do a beer tasting menu though.

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