Alinea: The At Home Experience

Edible dessert painting, that the chefs create right at your table.

By Emily Chin, Staff Writer

Michelin three-star, Chicago based restaurant has been taking a new route at their famous experience. Located at 1723 N. Halsted St., Alinea now offers to-go meals.

Before the world went into lockdown, Alinea was known for their amazing experiences, incorporating beautiful minimalistic courses and making them into an artistical masterpiece. Last year, I was able to go to Alinea, and let me tell you the food is absolutely incredible. When you arrive at the building it’s so well hidden you wouldn’t have known you’ve arrived, but instantly when you walk in, it feels like you’re in a whole different universe. They sit you down, and you’re basically sitting in a dimly lit room, where they start to bring out the courses. Halfway through they take you into the kitchen where they prepare the next course, and you might even catch a glimpse of the highly acclaimed chef, Grant Achatz. The dishes contain the perfect balance between hot and cold, sweet and sour, crunchy and smooth, detailing that there is a balance between two totally opposite traits.

Alinea now offers to-go meals, there even is a possibility to book AIR: Alinea in Residence, which is a rooftop dining experience in the West Loop. It is definitely a bit pricier than the to-go meals, but the experience is phenomenal. Every month, they switch up their “Alinea To-Go” boxes.

My family did the Alinea at home meal last month, for around $50 per person, it included, a 6 oz. Filet Mignon au Poivre, Potato au Gratin, Tomato & Cucumber Salad, Maine Lobster Bisque, and Strawberry Shortcake. Everything is pre-cooked but leaves the real cooking and preparing to you and whomever you’re eating this delicious meal with.

On Instagram, Achatz gives a video run-through on how to cook everything bringing you into the kitchen with him virtually. The process was really convenient, the potato au gratin went into the oven, the Maine lobster bisque was heated on a stovetop, the salad had to be mixed together, the strawberry shortcake went into the fridge, and the filet mignon au Poivre had to be seared. Other than that, making the food was basically just putting things on plates and trying to make it look like a fancy dish.

The amount of food that came in each box was beyond and more than what I expected. It was tasty, savory, and mouth-wateringly delicious. This is definitely perfect for anyone who loves cooking or eating up an experience. I think my dad and I had the most fun out of anyone in our family because it made us feel like we were a three-star Michelin chef, even though we’re the total opposites.

Even though it is a bit costly, I think the experience and quality of the food are so worth it! I would rate this restaurant a nine out of ten because everything was super good, but the only downside was that it can be very expensive. I really loved the experience in-person and even at home, if I ever got the chance to go back, I would definitely do that. If you are looking to add to your bucket list, going to Alinea is a must! It really is an experience of a lifetime!