Alinea! The World’s Most Inventive Restaurant! Culinary Molecular Masterpiece!

Alinea bacon dish

Time To Bite Into Genius!

Yes, that is a strip of “hanging bacon”…from the world’s most inventive Chef…need more proof?

Alinea rabbit recipe

What you see above you is Rabbit – yes, Rabbit….and then again, what you see next is a black truffle potato soup:

Alinea truffle potato soup

And one last piece of proof: your table is literally turned into a mini-outdoor grill!

Alinea fish dish on fire

world's best Chef Grant Achatz

Meet The World’s Most Inventive Chef!

Chef Grant Achetz has been known as one of the world’s greatest Chefs for years, but based on a meal we recently had at his restaurant, it’s time to acknowledge that he is, for us, the world’d most inventive Chef as well!

Alinea restaurant location Chicago

Alinea, A Molecule Masterpiece – 7-19-15!

Welcome to Alinea, Chicago’s culinary institution, where Chef Achetz puts on a 3-hour display of molecular wizardry and imagination that must be tasted to be believed! And that’s exactly what my wife Alex Duda and I did on July 19, 2015…

You are seated quickly and immediately given a “drink”:

Alinea bellini ball

Bite Into A Bellini Ball!

Yes, your first taste is a Bellini served inside a frozen ball…champagne, basil and peach cleanse your palate for the SEVENTEEN tastes of wonder that await:

Surf Clam Necter With Cucumber!

Your first taste is of the sea, a delicious sip of nectar that is full of flavor, is sipped with a straw….

Alinea recipes clam nectar with straw

After sipping your soup – and yes, you are expected to slurp, you move on to a delicious “Steelhead Roe” with english pea, olive oil and chamomile…

Alinea molecular food

Alinea graffiti dish

Bite Into Some Graffiti!

Next, a plate of gravel appears. This is referenced as “spring through the concrete”, and it’s a collection of delicate lettuces and flowers served within an edible concrete!

Next, you are served a collection of delicate “bites”:

alinea recipes

Here is a look at what you taste: a caramel-roasted sun choke, flower custard, a cucumber and horseradish sandwich, some sort of purple flower bubblegum, and a clam salad!

Alinea's best recipes

Next is a grilled lily flower with mango and ginger foam…and that is when you glance upward and notice something very interesting:

best Alinea recipes - chicago's best restaurant

Look Out Above!

When you sit down, you notice something hanging above the table, and yes, it’s for one of your dishes!

Alinea Alex Duda

It’s a hanging lemongrass ginger wrap, that is cut down, steeped at your table and poured over banana and mustard seed and becomes a freshly scented darjeling tea!

best restaurant recipes

By the way, these dishes come out in a nice pace, and the restaurant isn’t stuffy at all – they have fun with menu and want you too as well!

Alinea restaurant menu 2015

A shallow bowl arrives next with some broth added, then you are plated with eggplant, banana cocoa and curry!

Alinea eggplant recipe

Alinea clam dish

“Percebes” To You!

Next up is a unique taste of the sea: in case you don’t know, “Percebes” is a sea barnacle that is served to you sashimi style – a delicate barnacle of sea freshness!

Alinea sea barnacle

Let’s pause for a moment to reiterate: this restaurant is amazing, with unique dishes served in a fun and inventive manner, with no stuffiness – and the “Percebes” dish was a preclude to the most unique dining experience we’ve ever had!

Alinea fire dish

Along with the barnacles, a plate is set down with two pieces of sashimi on it…and then they set the plate on fire!

Alinea fire dish

This Place Is On Fire – Literally!

You can see there are two twigs on the plate, and you are instructed to pierce the sashimi and you can cook it a bit over the fire if you don’t like your fish raw!

Alinea fish dish on fire

Alex gave the fish a quick sear…and then we quickly moved on to our next dish…while the fire continue to burn gently on the table…

Alinea world's best restaurant menu

A Foie Gras Butter Sandwich With A Dehydrated Icefish Cracker!

After the slightly seared sashimi and fresh barnacle, you are served an intense bite of deliciousness thanks to this presentation:

alinea sandwich presentation

Yes, it’s a sandwich of foe gras butter on a dehydrated icefish cracker – and then your taste buds get scrambled once again with a frozen bite of wonder!

most unique recipes

Grab The Needle And Slide It In!

Yep, grab the needle and lift up you frozen cocktail – called a “Siam Sunray” – with vodka and lemongrass…you slide it off the needle and into your mouth! It’s one of three dishes served on a single plate:

Alinea restaurant menu creations

Alinea Tamarind bite

Tamarind with young coconut is one bite, and a crab with rice and green curry is the other…

Alinea restaurant menu 2015

Now, time to return to a dish that was left on your table…that’s right, it’s back into the fire!

Alinea Michelin 3-star

“Jump Into The Fire!”

There’s an incredible inventive reason the dish is left on your table – it is cooking your next course!

Alinea menu 2015

While you were distracted, your table was continuing to cook a roasted parsnip and chunk of pork belly in the fire…

Alinea restaurant menu

Alinea roasted parsnip

They return to remove your fiery plate and dig into the fire – first up is a roasted parsnip, with the char scarped away….

roasted parsnip recipe

Next, they dig around in the embers and a banana leaf is pulled out of the fire, and inside is a delicate chunk of pork belly!

Alinea prok belly

The imagination that went into the creation of this multiple fiery course is so impressive, and everything is perfectly seasoned and smoked…an absolutely incredible culinary experience!

And of course, it’s not over yet:

Alinea truffle potato soup

Hot Potato Cold Potato!

What you see here is a hot truffle potato soup, with a slice of cold potato and truffle on a pin sticking out of the plate…

Alinea potato soup

You slide the pin out, the ingredients slide into the soup and you take it down in one delicious shot!

Time now for your protein:

Rabbit served over redwood moss Alinea style

Rabbit Over Redwood Forest Moss!

Your next plate arrives as a piece glass over redwood forest moss! This is braised rabbit with morel mushrooms…

Alinea rabbit recipe

There is also a Rabbit Rilette and Rabbit Pate stuffed inside the morel mushroom…and the mushroom is a prelude to one of Alinea’s signatures tastes:

Black Truffle dish Alinea

Black Truffle Explosion!

This is an Alinea favorite: you put the entire bite in your mouth, because the delicate dumpling is filled with black truffle jus!

Alinea cheesecake recipe

Time to get sweet now…first up is a Cheesecake served colorfully with blueberry and hibiscus powder….and then, butterscotch got a chance to shine!

Alinea bacon dish

Bacon Glazed With Butterscotch!

Take a look at this, bacon suspended on a wire, delivered to your table after being “encased” in a butterscotch glaze!

Alinea classic bacon recipe

Alinea bacon recipe

molecular bacon recipe Alinea

The presentation is unique, and the flavor delicate and salty sweet – and how can you not love this bacon dish? But of course, the imaginative creations continue:

John Rieber Alinea

Apple Leather Balloon!

This is another amazing molecular treat: a helium balloon made out of edible green apple – delivered to your table on a string – and yes, you are told to suck out the helium and talk!

Alinea balloon Alex Duda

Finally, the uniquely inventive dessert finale that begins when your table is completely cleared and covered with a rubber mat!

Alinea molecular dessert

Then, a series of small colorful dishes are delivered to your table:

Alinea world's best restaurant

A Chef arrives at your table and begins to “paint” an incredible table of color!

most unique desserts

When finished, your table looks alike an abstract painting!

alinea world's best restaurants

Although it looks too beautiful to disrupt, you are instructed to wipe the white chocolate across the rum, vanilla and kafir lime sauces that are painted on the table!

world's best desserts

Bravo to Alinea!

Kudos to the entire team at Alinea – the food is incredibly inventive, delicious, and creatively presented by a staff that makes you embrace the fun side of the food!

The restaurant was in the news recently when Chef Achatz tweeted this:

Alinea baby tweet

Chef Achetz’s honest comment on twitter – where he wondered if an infant should have been allowed in the restaurant – drew a lot of media coverage…but the question is real: should a small child be at a restaurant like this? Read the entire story here, along with the story of Chef Achetz and his incredible life story:

Achetz worked with legendary Chef Thomas Keller, whose 3-star Michelin restaurant recently celebrated its twenty year anniversary:

TFL XX Ice Sculpture

We were lucky enough to attend this culinary celebration, which you can read about here:

And we got to see Chef in the French Laundry kitchen as well!

Chef Keller JR and Alex

Kudos to both of these Chefs, creating the most inventive food in the world!

Alinea bacon recipe

Categories: Art, Awards, BACON, Books / Media, chicago, cookbooks, Exotic Travel, Food, Food Review, Memoirs, Recipes, Restaurants, Talent/Celebrities, Technology, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized, Wacky Food, wine

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

27 replies

  1. Incredible culinary journey. Amazing presentations. Unique dishes. Amazing captures.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This looks like it really would be a unique and enjoyable dining experience. My wife wants to know how you eat the bacon? I said you just grab it. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow…Just awesome, amazing what a culinary journey you have taken us on John…I am virtually lost for words …

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on johnrieber and commented:

    The top 100 restaurants in the world just announced….Alinea made the list again and here is why:


  5. Great pictures and adorable description of your meal, course by course. I had a lot of fun reading this β€” thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My dream is to eat here some day…


  7. I finally got around to reading your whole blog post on this restaurant, instead of just commenting on the balloon pic…that is one of the most incredible things I have ever seen…thanks so much for taking us on that journey…I’m still in disbelief that he can do those kinds of things with food…talk about presentation mixed with an amazing imagination mixed with a lot of bravery…a true artist…wow….how many tables are in Alinea? Can’t believe he does that every night….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting, I appreciate the feedback! There are at least twenty tables in the restaurant, and it is a beautifully choreographed ballet – you know other are getting served a different times, but they keep the presentation to your fresh and unique so you don’t feel like you know what is coming


  8. This was fascinating. I mostly loved seeing the photos of you and Alex. I have to say you are both braver souls than me…not sure if I could eat my food once it was hanging from the ceiling or being painted on my table. REMARKABLE…thanks for the visual visit


    • The “painted” dessert is a signature dish…the rest is one amazing culinary taste after another – and not stuffy at all, just fun and inventive! It is the world’s best restaurant!
      Thanks as always for sharing and for your comments!



  1. Bite Down On The World’s Best Food! Paris! Napa! Barcelona! Provence! Chicago! Five Incredible Bites! | johnrieber
  2. Cooking The World’s Most Scientific Food! el Bulli’s Amazing Molecular Magic! Meet The “Sorcerer’s Apprentices!” | johnrieber
  3. Chicago’s Fried Chicken Battle! Parson’s Vs. Honey Butter Fried Chicken! A Delicious Taste Test!! – johnrieber
  4. NEXT! Eating Ancient Rome! Chicago Goes Back In Time For An Amazing Meal! – johnrieber
  5. Chicago’s NEXT Restaurant Goes Hollywood! A Delicious Ode To The Magic Of The Movies! – johnrieber
  6. Chicago’s Incredible Roister! Brined Fried Chicken Sandwich! Amazing Fried Bologna Sandwich! Chef Grant Achatz Goes Casual! – johnrieber
  7. “Vespertine”! LA’s Best Restaurant! Food As Art! Food As Theater! The Mad Creativity Of Wizard Chef Jordan Kahn! – johnrieber
  8. America’s First 3-Michelin Star Female Chef! Chef Dominique Crenn’s Atelier Crenn – A Poem To Gastronomy! – johnrieber
  9. “WTF-Friday” Says: Time To Sip Some “Cheese Tea!” Yes, CHEESE TEA! Fooditor Has The Tasty Story! – johnrieber
  10. Cat Cora “Cat” Fight! Alina Restaurant Bites Back Against Chef Cora’s Claim Of Poor Treatment! – johnrieber
  11. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Announced! Here It Is – Plus My “A” List! Arpege! Alinea! Atelier Crenn! – johnrieber
  12. A Chef’s Controversial “Nine Lives”! Brandon Baltzley Cooks Up A Wild “Wednesday Bookmobile” Memoir Of Life In The Kitchen! – johnrieber
  13. Dig Into This Delicious List! Here Are The World’s 100 Best Restaurants 2021! – johnrieber

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cornwall in Colours

inspired by the colours of the land, sea and sky of Cornwall

Bonjour From Brittany

Celebrating what makes Brittany unique


Reviewing the greatest film and TV since the dawn of time

Let's Go To The Movies

Film and Theatre Lover!

SoraNews24 -Japan News-

Bringing you yesterday's news from Japan and Asia, today.

Bite! Eat! Repeat!

52 Cookbooks. 52 Recipes. A Tasty 2022!

A Teacher's Reflections

Thirty Years of Wonder

Tanooki Homemade Cafe

Yummy Homemade Food Recipes to Make You Smile:)


Exploring sustainable options, minimalism, and gardening.

In Saner Thought

"It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to detect and expose delusion and error"..Thomas Paine

Pete Springer

Passionate Teacher and Future Children's Author


Follow us as we follow the road


Travel Through Ireland and Europe

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

Geeking Out about It

BlerdWatching Waaay Too Much TV


Tea, Tours and Escapades

Robbie's inspiration

Ideas on writing and baking

You can always start now

exploring possibilities

Realweegiemidget Reviews Films TV Books and more

You can take the girl out of Glasgow. Entertainment Reviews from a Wee Scottish Wife and Stepmum living in Finland.

I didn't have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

Through the Shattered Lens

Where mainstream meets grindhouse, exploitation, otaku and gamers

Laura's Books and Blogs

Writing tips, giveaways, reviews, essays, and more!

Drew's Movie Reviews

Movie reviews from your average dude

But I Smile Anyway...

Musings and memories, words and wisdom... of a working family woman

Movie Reviews 101

Daily Movie Reviews

Cindy Bruchman

Photography. Observations. Adventures. Let's talk.

Invisibly Me

Live A Visible Life Whatever Your Health


The world's wildest movies from an era of "everything goes!"

Rust Belt Girl

reading and writing the Rust Belt with Rebecca Moon Ruark

Cult Of The Cinema

Exploring Cinematic Diversity

Retired? No one told me!

Tonight I Dream. Tomorrow I Do!


The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Musings on cats, travel, gardens and life

Tranquil Dreams

Watching, Reading, Cooking & Travelling

An Historian About Town

History in the Making

Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

Adventures and Misadventures in Boulder, Colorado

It Rains... You Get Wet

Still more lazy thoughts from this one...

Admit One Film Addict

Psychotropic Cinema and more

emmakwall (explains it all)

Film & soundtrack reviews, good humour and lists


Burgers, Books, Music, Movies, Offbeat Adventures & Pop Culture!


Movie reviews and anything else that comes to mind

%d bloggers like this: