Alinea in Chicago- The Salon Tasting Menu
I love Alinea so much I had to come back to Chicago to go to it again! Last time I got The Gallery tasting but this time I tried The Salon tasting. The Grand tasting was awesome however, I could not enjoy a lot of the courses because I was SO FULL! the Salon tasting menu is 10-14 courses and it was perfect for me! I left full but not an uncomfortable full. Keep on scrolling down to see all the delicious and unique looking courses I had.
White- trout roe, coconut, lychee, white pepper This was probably my favorite bite! It was so unique and the saltiness from the roe was so good with all of the other sweet elements. Alinea is known for their different textures and this plate had a lot of different textures!
Kaeng- scallop, mustard, chili
So good! You can't see in this picture (you can see some of the smoke) but there was a bowl in front of us filled with citrus fruit flowing with delicious scents. The presentation of this was really neat! Underneath the scallop chip was scallop noodles in a wonderful sauce!
This was a little refreshing shooter for after the scallop dish. Yummy! The red side was a watermelon gel gummy thing and the other end had a piece of cucumber. We had to suck the red end first for the lemongrass flavored shot!
Paper- langoustine, bouillabaisse, olive oil
I had a similar dish the last time I came and I was so excited to see another version of it! When they poured a broth over this paper looking thing, it dissolved into a really good and unique bite of langoustine!
Crunch- rouille, nori
So flavorful, so crispy, so good.
Ink- octopus, scallion, black lime
When they brought this out they removed all the citrus from the bowl in the middle, added coals, and put a black pot on top as our new centerpiece. This plate was not the prettiest, but it was really freaking good!
Puff and Drink- This was not on the menu they gave us. The puff reminded me of a fancy pizza roll and the drink had shaved bell pepper in it!
This was fun because they took us down stairs to the kitchen and prepared the drink for us. This is usually an alcoholic drink with a small bite. I loved looking around to see the kitchen in action and looking at the meals that were being created!
Tail- pork, matsutake, huckleberry and Tea- matsutake, lemon, thyme
This is pork tail stew which is what was in the pot in the centerpiece. They took it out of the pot and assembled these little bowls table side. I never had pork tail stew but it was delicious and the mushroom tea that came with it was amazing! I didn't expect it to have so much mushroom flavor! These two went so well together!
Branch- maitake, oak, acorn
This was put on top of the bowl in the center after the coals and pot was removed while we were eating out pig tail stew. A small bite of goodness!
Coal- squab, forbidden rice, binchotan
They remove the burning coal before they let you eat! I love how the proteins they serve are more unique than your usual chicken, beef, and pork! Very tender and really unique with all the sauces!
Wrinkled- bull's blood beet
I love beets so I loved this bite. This was served with the squab dish.
White Truffle- savory french toast, hazelnut
This was an extra my friend Sarah got! They had beautiful white truffles and you could add this extra dish if you wanted. DELICIOUS.
Transition- yam, delice, apricot
For this dessert, they dig a yam out of the centerpiece! They then make this dessert table side as well! They are always surprising you at Alinea!
Wood- hoja santa, tamarind, chocolate
This was very good and had pineapple flavors in it. It was very good light and refreshing dessert that came with a side of tea!
Corn- popped caramel, liquid
A melt in your mouth bite before the famous balloon dessert!
Balloon- helium, green apple
I was super happy when they said the flavor was green apple!! Last time I had banana which is my least favorite fruit flavor! These are so fun because you have to suck up the helium, sound like a weirdo, and then eat it! The taffy was really good because it tasted like real apple, not just apple flavoring!
The total price I paid for one meal at Alinea with no alcoholic drinks was $287.67 (this also includes the tip). This was the price I paid when I made the reservations and I did not pay anything at the restaurant. This price was a little cheaper because we went on a weekday at a early dining time. Different days and dining times have a slight difference in prices. When I say slight, I mean like $5-$10.
I have to say that Alinea is my most favorite restaurant I have ever been to! I have been to multiple 1-3 Michelin Star restaurants but this is the one I have traveled for TWICE and I really want to go again to try their menu during Spring and/or Summer.
1723 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60614
*Items purchases myself.*
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