I can’t believe I finally did it. I went to Alinea
. I’ve wanted to go ever since the first time I read about head chef and owner, Grant Achatz, and his Willy Wonka-like ways.
I never thought I could justify spending that kind of money on a dinner. Then one day a few months ago, I decided, I’d stop trying to justify it and just do it. I don’t think anything will ever compare to Alinea. I ate food that was so completely different than anything I’ve ever eaten, or even thought about eating!
Each course (there were 14) is its own experience. One was a breaded and fried scallop that was attached to stick, actually a real branch, with leaves that were set on fire ever so slightly, just to create that burning leaf, fall smell. Another was salmon which was served on a cedar plate over a small bit of flaming rye whiskey - it was one of the best things I've ever smelled in my life and it tasted amazing!
One of three dessert courses was something unlike anything I'd ever seen. It was a balloon, but made out of apple, and filled with helium. So first, you suck the helium out and everyone at the table has a good laugh, then you eat the taffy like apple dessert. It was so much fun to eat, and just incredibly innovative.
The final dessert was some kind of chocolate explosion. First, servers roll out some kind of latex/silicone like cover over the entire table, then two chefs come out with two giant chocolate globes and three sauces. Then they pour something that seemed like liquid nitrogen into the chocolate globes, while they were steaming, the chefs poured the sauces over the table in elaborate patterns, and then smacked the chocolate globes on the table, smashing them open to reveal all kinds of treats inside.
As you can see, it was truly a unique dining experience, I've never seen anything like it, and will probably never eat anything like it anywhere else! I had a great time and I'm so glad I went.