** (2 stars)

I’ve eaten at some great restaurants all over the world, and I don’t get Alinea. It’s simply irritating. Yes, a few courses are knockouts. But there are also clunkers. The real problem, though, is the didactic nature of the place. We were instructed in how te eat almost every bite: “Put the whole thing in your mouth” (it was huge), “Inhale this smoke while you take a bite”, “”Don’t injure yourself on this ridiculous spike we served it on.” Then came dessert. They rolled out a rubber sheet, and several “chefs” literally smeared various stuff all over it in from of us. I am not making this up. Not only is this not the best restaurant in Chicago, it’s one of the worst fine dining experiences I’ve had in Chicago. Service is stiff, the decor is austere, I just don’t get it.

1723 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 867-0110