Alinea, Chicago, IL (Eclectic)

Chef: Grant Achatz

As one of the most highly awarded chefs in the world, Grant Achatz is widely known for his creative take on modern cuisine and contributions to molecular gastronomy. Achatz describes his cuisine as progressive as he seeks to use food to tell a story and awaken the senses. He states, “Alinea means the beginning of a new train of thought.” Many have referred to his food as works of art. Achatz is the winner of multiple James Beard Awards. Not one to sit on his laurels, in January of this year, the former restaurant was demolished and completely rebuilt in 4 months. During the renovation, the entire team was sent around the world to explore new culinary experiences.

Discreetly located in a townhouse marked only by a valet parking sandwich board outside, one may not even realize that a restaurant is located inside. Yet, once patrons enter Alinea, they are immersed in a dining experience that is not only delicious, but also fun, emotional, and provocative. Alinea does not offer a standard menu. The menu descriptions are minimalistic, but the plates are works of art. “Pistachio, Mascarpone, Strawberry, Black Walnut” is one menu description. Another is “Wagyu, Parsnip, Black Trumpet, Kombu.” Alinea offers three unique and distinct experiences to choose from when making your reservation. Three salons located on the second floor of the restaurant offer a 10-12 course tasting menu, while the first-floor gallery offers a 16 -18 course multi-sensory tasting menu. For those desiring a fully private dining immersion, Alinea offers the cutting-edge Kitchen Table dining experience. No matter which option is selected, all guests can expect an innovative menu of small bites that can be combined with a well-planned wine or non-alcoholic pairing. While many guests most look forward to the edible helium balloon at the end of the meal, the entire 3 to 4-hour dining experience is sure to never disappoint.

  • #15, World’s 50 Best Restaurants, 2016
  • Outstanding Restaurant in the United States, James Beard Foundations, 2016
  • Three Star Michelin rating, 2018


Phone: (312) 867-0110

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Tony Lagana

Chef Tony is a 42-year veteran of the food industry and is often known by his peers as “The New Product Guru.” Throughout his illustrious culinary career, he’s earned several notable titles and positions including Acquisition International’s “Most Influential Product Development Expert, U.S.” in 2019.

In 1997, Tony also founded Culinary Systems Inc., a group of culinary consultants that assist with culinary training, restaurant start-ups, concept development, and more. Since then, Tony and his team have generated over two billion dollars in sales for their clients in restaurants, retail, and manufacturing.

The strategic, technical, and culinary skills of Tony and his team can be seen on the menus of national chains, in the portfolio of national food manufacturers, and on the grocery shelves of products produced by major retail companies.