Alineaphile

My adventures recreating Alinea Restaurant’s food at home

Dinner at Alinea, May 5, 2012

In celebration of reaching just beyond halfway through the Alinea cookbook, I finally dined at Alinea Restaurant! I was joined by several friends who also came to Chicago for the National Restaurant Association tradeshow. I had made a reservation back in March for this date, and it was well worth the wait!

Trying out the helium balloon dessert

They really do take care of you there, we were impressed by their level of service. Every detail was immaculate.

Monogrammed linens at Alinea

Alinea Menu, Spring 2012

Gerolsteiner sparkling water (Germany)

Steelhead Roe, carrot, coconut, currySTEELHEAD ROE, carrot, coconut, curry
Bliss Gourmet Steelhead trout roe, coconut and carrot gelées, young coconut slices and micro cilantro on a bed of mild curry.

Cocktail of Pierre Gimmonnet Brut Champagne (France) with St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur (France) and Esterházy Beerenauslese (Bergunland, Austria)

Alinea OYSTER LEAF, mignonette; KING CRAB, passionfruit, heart of palm, allspice; MUSSEL, saffron, chorizo, oregano; RAZOR CLAM, shiso, soy, daikonOYSTER LEAF, mignonette
KING CRAB, passionfruit, heart of palm, allspice
MUSSEL, saffron, chorizo, oregano
RAZOR CLAM, shiso, soy, daikon
Four seafood bites served on driftwood in a bed of seaweed.

2010 Barth ‘Charta’ Reisling (Rheingau, Germany)

Alinea WOOLY PIG, fennel, orange, squidWOOLY PIG, fennel, orange, squid
Marinated baby squid, ham, orange zest and fennel served on a stainless steel skewer.

Alinea SCALLOP, acting like agedashi tofuSCALLOP, acting like agedashi tofu
Scallop mousse fried like agedashi tofu, with dashi brewed a la minute in a glass vacuum carafe, daikon, carrot, nasturtium.

2010 Bodegas Godeval ‘Viña Godeval’ (Valdeorras, Spain)

Alinea OTORO, thai banana, sea salt, kaffir limeOTORO, thai banana, sea salt, kaffir lime
Foams in a glass globe! Kaffir lime foam, ice, cucumber.

2010 Chehalem ‘3 Vineyards’ Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley, Oregon)

Alinea ICE, beet, hibiscus, licoriceICE, beet, hibiscus, licorice
Iceblock centerpiece, with a refreshing brew of beet, jamaica and licorice ‘core samples’ you drink with a glass straw.

BURN MORELS, ramp, fiddlehead fern, miner's lettuceBURN MORELS, ramp, fiddlehead fern, miner’s lettuce
Tastes of the forest after a fire, foraged from its floor, served on hot river rocks and a charred, smoldering Japanese sushi geta.

2009 Descendientes de J. Palacios ‘Petalos’ Bierzo (Spain)

HOT POTATO, cold potato, black truffle, butterHOT POTATO, cold potato, black truffle, butter
The classic Alinea soup course – cold potato soup served in a paraffin wax bowl, with a stainless steel skewer of butter, parmesan, chive, hot Yukon gold potato and black truffle. Recipe

Lamb with 86 GarnishesLAMB 86
Perfectly cooked lamb served three ways, with a rich jus …and 60 unique garnishes (86 components) – none repeated! Garnish Key

2008 Château Ollieux Romanis ‘Atal Sia’ (Corbières, France)

BLACK TRUFFLE explosion, romaine, parmesanBLACK TRUFFLE explosion, romaine, parmesan
Another Alinea staple – raviol of hot, buttery truffle juice, topped with wilted romaine lettuce and shaved parmesan.
Presented in Crucial Detail’s ‘anti-plate’ bottomless ceramic serving piece. Recipe

Alinea Recipe: Squab, inspired by Joan MiróSQUAB, inspired by Miró
Squab breast, and seven other colorful tastes, each on a utensil and composed tabletop like a Joan Miró or Alexander Calder mobile.

2006 Valpolicella Classico Superiore ‘TB’ Bussola (Veneto, Italy)

Alinea Recipe: Anjou Pear, onion, brie, smoking cinnamonANJOU PEAR, onion, brie, smoking cinnamon
Sweet pear, onion and brie cheese deep-fried tempura-style, on a long, smoldering stick of Ceylon cinnamon. Served in the ‘octopus’ serving piece from Crucial Detail.

The Rare Wine Co. ‘Boston Bual’ Madeira (Portugal)

Alinea recipe: Ginger, five other flavorsGINGER, five other flavors
Five tiny bites of ginger, each flavored differently in this palate cleanser. Served on their stainless steel ‘Peacock’ serving piece.

BLUEBERRY, buttermilk, sorrel, macadamiaBLUEBERRY, buttermilk, sorrel, macadamia
From soup to nuts! Pyrex glass ‘Ovni’ plate, with a soup of nitro-frozen sorrel and tea, blueberry brownies, buttermilk cream, macadamia.

2011 Saracco Moscato d’Asti (Piemonte, Italy)

Balloon, Helium, Green AppleBALLOON, helium, green apple
Helium-filled balloons of candy apple, with apple leather strings. Suck out the helium and eat the balloon – string and all!

Hot towel service

WHITE CHOCOLATE, strawberry, english pea, lemon
Tabletop presentation artfully laid out before you, including candy-filled white chocolate ‘piñatas’ for Cinco de Mayo. A pichette of liquid nitrogen was involved…

2011 Matteo Correggia ‘Anthos’ (Piemonte, Italy)

Coffee, Tea, Espresso

Buon Apetito!

Happy tummies…

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3 Responses to Dinner at Alinea, May 5, 2012

  1. KJF says:

    I wish we had a video of that final white-chocolate performance!

  2. Tracy C says:

    So awesome! Thanks for documenting so I can live vicariously through your words and pictures. I would like to go sometime.

  3. Mike J says:

    On the BMS grading picture, BMS #4 and #5 are the EXACT same picture.

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