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Believe the hype and secure tickets—yes, tickets— well in advance. Chicago's most exciting restaurant demands an adventurous spirit and a serious commitment of time and money. If you have four hours and $265 to spare, the 18-course tasting menu that showcases Grant Achatz's stunning, cutting-edge food is a fantastic experience. The gastronomic roller coaster takes you on a journey through intriguing aromas, visuals, flavors, and textures. The menu changes frequently, but you might find green beans perched on a pillow that emits nutmeg-scented air, sweetbreads served with burnt bread and toasted hay, and Earl Grey paired with caramelized white chocolate. Though some dishes—they range in size from one to four bites—may look like science projects, there's nothing gimmicky about the procession of bold and elegant tastes. The hours fly by in the windowless bi-level dining room, aided by the effortless service and muted decor.
- Address: 1723 N. Halsted St., Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL 60614 | Map It
- Phone: 312/867–0110
- Website: www.alinea-restaurant.com
- Location: Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, and Bucktown
- Jacket required.
- Reservations essential.
- Credit cards accepted.
- Closed Mon. and Tues. No lunch.
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