After trying out Alinea this past week I figured I would do a pictorial overview of the experience. It was an absolutely amazing meal, probably one of the best I’ve had, the restaurant catapulted to the top of my personal favorite restaurant rankings. To start, the Menu (you got a black puzzle to start and you had to find the words. the words in it are the highlights of each of the dishes)
and here is the plate by plate action.
COMMUNAL – ROSE, VIOLET, CHAMOMILE, MYOGA, JASMINE To start, the communal refers to a communal table, where we all sat to eat sweet little bites and champagne. The best part, as seen in the video, by watering the plants above the whole sensorial experience started with a flower essence
SHAKER – RHUBARB
SPEAR – AVOCADO, CORIANDER We were taken to the kitchen, which was fabulous because we got to see the inner workings of the restaurant (There was so much liquid nitrogen all over the place). We got a little bit and a drink made in an industrial shaker – so cool I had to include some videos of it. (in case you are counting, two dishes and already I had champagne and gin 🙂 )
CRUNCH – ROUILLE, NORI PAPER – LANGOUSTINE, BOUILLABAISSE, OLIVE OIL The paper comes in that the langoustine is made into a piece of paper and absolutely delicious. The broth was to die for.
INK OLIVE, ARTICHOKE The picture of my hand to show that within the rocks a little artichoke nugget to look like a rock, quite a delicious bite. However the standout was the black ink with the squid. It had burnt tomatoes with the ink and I just wanted to jar it and take it home to eat with everything.
GARDEN – ORANGE, SHERRY, TOMATO
BOCADILLO – MANCHEGO, ONION The bocadillo wasnt pictures, but it was a tiny sandwich (mine with onion jam) but the highlight was definitely the garden. That gel was made of fennel and it was delicious, and mixed with the foam was fabulous
BLACKBASS, SHELLFISH, KUZU
KAFFIR LIME, TROPICAL FRUIT
COCONUT This was a spectacle. The fire gave great ambience and smell, and the soup was one of the most delicious Thai soups that I have had. The soup however didn’t need the chocolate ice next to it, although a good palate cleanser I wanted to keep my thai flavors.
STEAM – HAMACHI, ROSEMARY, KOMBU The hamachi was placed on top of the fire above, and the rosemary gave it some beautiful smokey hints
FUNGI – BLUEBERRY, LA SANG SOUCHONG, MA I TAKE a vegetarian dream of a plate
SPUD – TRUFFLE, MIDWEST DAIRY This was a fun part of the evening. From the fire, a potato is taken out, and prepared table side with lots of delicious truffle
SMOKE – VEAL CHEEK, PINEAPPLE, HEARTS OF PALM loved this dish, I just wished there was more of it. THe crust on the veal cheek was spectacular
BEAN– TENDERLOIN SPICES The “VAnilla Bean” was a jerky. A fun and inventive take, if not the most tasty
WAGYU – BANANA, MANGO, ALLSPICE Sadly this was the dish that I was looking for the most (I had found wagyu in the puzzle at the beginning and was looking forward to that dish) but this tartar preparation did not do much for me. It’s a wagyu tartar (i feel wagyu needs a bit of cooking to fully release its flavors) with a banana custard that was a bit awkward all together.
ROCK – SWEET POTATO, CHOCOLATE, MISO A nice start to dessert – beautifully plated, and thankfully for me not to chocolaty (im not the biggest chocolate fan)
NOSTALGIA – CANDY BAR This wins all the invention points, yet doesn’t win in flavor for me. It has totally to do with my personal tastes as I hate peanut butter and therefore dont like butterfinger. If it was done with a milky way bar, then we would have been talking. However all the execution marks are there because the gel that you scraped off tasted exactly like a butterfinger
BALLOON – HELIUM, GRAPE This had to be the most fun dish of the night. The balloons were edible and filled with helium. So not only were they delicious, after the amount of wine had, and the helium it allowed for the funniest part of the evening
PAINT – WHITE CHOCOLATE, GRAPEFRUIT, COFFEE After the fun, the party started. Basically dessert was made on roof tiles by the chefs throwing stuff at you and creating art. It was actually quite tasty!
As I said i think with this dinner Alinea def catapulted to the top of my personal restaurant rankings. Which begs the question, what’s in my top 10 right now? With the caveat that I change my mind constantly (and that my winter travels wil lchange this quite a bit) , here are my current top 10 restaurants of fabulous meals ive had (the fabulous comfort food restaurants are not included here … those are another whole list in itself) .
- Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare
- Le Bernadin
- La Colombe
- Eleven Madison Park
- The Fat Duck
- Aramburu/ Per Se