Alinea Review

  • Ginger – five other flavors (4/10)
    • This course was intended to settle our stomachs and server as a transition to the dessert courses.  5 ways, fresh from Hawaii – served on metal prongs, one tiny (1/3”) piece on each prong.  Our server didn’t really explain this one, but we overheard that the ginger is less than 5 days old, one had a mini-dollop (drip, dribble) of yogurt.  A couple of them were quite potent, which is really saying something since I’m from Michigan and have had Vernor’s ginger ale throughout my life.
  • Blueberry – 9/10 – buttermilk, sorrel, macadamia
    • Blueberries usually aren’t my favorite fruit.  The exception is a short time in the summer when the farmers’ market has berries that are exceptionally sweet.  I’m really curious how this dish would be with peaches instead of blueberries.  The two tables in our dining room that were ahead of us had this dish brought out with quite a clatter.  I think the sorrel sorbet had some warm liquid poured over it, causing it to fog/steam, which rattled a glass ball set on top of the opening.  I don’t know why, but our dish came out quiet; maybe because I took a bathroom break just before this course was served.  There were blueberries, crumbles of (presumably) buttermilk cake, and one or two pieces of a sheet of dried ricotta.  The cake and amazing ricotta are what I remember most about this dish.  I didn’t care for the sorrel sorbet, which was melted and intended to be sipped through a straw.  It was too green for my taste.  I don’t mind green smoothies, but this wasn’t blended with anything else, so it was too strong for me.  I don’t remember any nuts, maybe they were in the cake crumbles.
  • Balloon –helium, green apple (9/10)

    • I had seen two other tables experience this dish, so I was really looking forward to it.  The balloon is made of taffy and inflated with helium, it’s tied with apple leather (think fruit roll-up) and weighed down with the same pin used in the Hot Potato dish.  You hold the apple leather string, put your mouth against the balloon, and break its wall to inhale the helium.  Kip didn’t have the benefit of seeing others go through this, so I used my chipmunk voice to give him directions.  Once the fun with the helium was over, I got the server’s attention and asked him to repeat the description because I was too busy having fun to pay attention the first time.

The taffy is extremely sticky, so hot towels are provided to help you clean up.



    • There were so many things going on with this dish!  Sherry gastrique, freeze dried strawberries, cookies, meringues, frozen doughnuts, freeze dried mint, honeydew, and of course white chocolate.
    • I had forgotten what the sherry gastrique was and thought it wasn’t very good.  I asked for a reminder and realized it would be perfect with the strawberries, since strawberries and balsamic vinegar go together so well.  (Details on that once strawberries are in season.)
    • There were little green crunchy bits that I couldn’t figure out.  Again, I asked and was told they were mint/green pea flavor.  I told our server they reminded me of Cap’n Crunch cereal and was really surprised that he said the staff had the same thought when they first tried it.

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3 Comments to “Alinea Review”

  1. Sharyn says:

    Very impresed with your description of each sample of food. I think I will need to live this experience vicariously through your detailed descriptions.
    Looking forward to gelatto at the end of May.


  2. Becky says:

    What a bizarre façade for a restaurant! I’m glad you liked the food, even though it was scant.

  3. Jane Hackenberg says:

    When we were in New Orleans we ate at the French Quarter and that restaurant also gave little bitty portions for a big price. We were unhappy but we did have the experience of eating in that fancy place. So some restaurants are not about the quantity of food. Which still boggles my mind and stomach!

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