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#31
Posted May 21st 2007, 9:47am
Can you imagine an Alinea cookbook? Me neither.


Well, you won't have to. Details forthcoming, but an Alinea cookbook is well under way and will be available in the Fall, 2008. It will provide the exact recipes used at the restaurant, 100 of them in fact -- 4 full seasonal Tour menus. There will also be a website that every cookbook buyer will have access to that will contain digital versions of the recipes as well as videos of selected processes and techniques, plus some bonus material that didn't make it to the book.



As for the Alinea vs. Moto question -- why not try both? Alinea and Moto are two very different restaurants, each pursuing their chef's own vision. While the press for a time enjoyed pairing the restaurants for articles (often with Avenues in there as well), I always thought it was a disservice to both Chefs Cantu and Achatz (and Bowles). They each have their own style and while there might be some crossover in the philosophy of innovation, the experiences are distinct, unique, and good. I think you will enjoy either of them.

Then again, I also don't understand how people leave Alinea hungry, so maybe I'm just missing something.


That statement always frustrates me and the staff. If anyone leaves Alinea hungry then they have not communicated well to the staff. Both menus are carefully composed to satiate diners without leaving them overstuffed and ill. However, if a particular diner has quite an appetite, then all they need do is ask if they could have another course or two as they are not yet satisfied. Believe me, they will leave full.

Also, my theory on this is that a lot of people are used to having: a) lots of bread and butter with their meals and b) desserts that have a high fat content.

For a while we were dissatisfied with our bread service and tried eliminating it altogether, with the result that people felt something was missing but often couldn't put their finger on it. We have since begun to bake all of our breads in house with a dedicated morning baker, and they will be flavored and paired with appropriate courses. This is what we always envisioned, it just took some time to make it happen. The results so far are very exciting.

The desserts are generally not high in fat, and that is not likely to change. I think most diners who are used to a cheese course followed by a cake with ice cream (or equivalent) end up feeling that the end of the meal was light. Fatty desserts do not fit well with the style of cuisine and a cheese cart would be very out of place at Alinea. So this is not likely to change...


((incidentally, I am the co-owner of Alinea... I was told that it is part of posting guidelines, as it should be, to disclose affiliations))
Last edited by nick.kokonas on May 21st 2007, 10:39am, edited 1 time in total.
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#32
Posted May 21st 2007, 10:06am
nick.kokonas wrote:As for the Alinea vs. Moto question -- why not try both? Alinea and Moto are two very different restaurants, each pursuing their chef's own vision.


I'm sure that's right. I think of Achatz and Cantu as being artists in the same school, kind of like Picasso and Braque in Cubism, both with a distinct sensibility but united by some common tendencies. You can compare them, but only up to a point, and I think it's interesting to contrast them, too.

Mike G wrote:Yeah, I could imagine an Alinea cookbook because I know this exists.

Do I believe that cooking from it, as opposed to gazing at it admiringly page by page, will be a satisfying experience? Not particularly.


Okay, theoretically, I can see how this would work; invest in the right equipment and you can pretty much do anything at home (make an atomic bomb, prepare an Alinea-like dinner, why not?). I'm just not seeing how what you prepare at home is going to come even asteroid close to what you get at the restaurant. As you suggest, I believe this book is more "documentation" than "how to."
Last edited by David Hammond on May 21st 2007, 10:17am, edited 1 time in total.
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#33
Posted May 21st 2007, 10:16am
Um, I deleted that because it seemed kind of harsh. But anyway, I like reading about that stuff, I have no problem with the idea of food art-books as opposed to cookbooks, but... after too many failed attempts with the French Laundry cookbook I decided to stick to real world cooking for average enthusiasts like me.
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#34
Posted May 21st 2007, 11:55am
Okay, theoretically, I can see how this would work; invest in the right equipment and you can pretty much do anything at home (make an atomic bomb, prepare an Alinea-like dinner, why not?). I'm just not seeing how what you prepare at home is going to come even asteroid close to what you get at the restaurant. As you suggest, I believe this book is more "documentation" than "how to."


How do you think so many of these chefs got started? Not all of them worked at El Bulli or Fat Duck. I'm not sure this makes any more sense than if you were to say it about Robb Walsh's "Legends of Texas BBQ", The French Laundry Cookbook, or Diana Kennedy's "Art of Mexican Cooking".

I don't have liquid nitrogen sitting in my pantry or an anti-griddle or thermal circulating bath. But I could get one:

http://www.cuisinetechnology.com/

And others have:

http://www.browniepointsblog.com/2007/0 ... n-sorbets/[/quote]
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#35
Posted May 21st 2007, 11:59am
Just to add: I think a food lover SHOULD go to these restaurants, at least once, and see what they think of the style. I think both make very good food. I would go back to either. I just don't think it's clear that Alinea is the better overall experience of the two.

However, I think if you have a hard time enjoying Charlie Trotter's or The French Laundry, which are a step closer to tradtional foods, you're going to have an especially hard time enjoying Alinea or Moto, I think, even with the fun performance art vibe at Moto.
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#36
Posted May 21st 2007, 12:05pm
extramsg wrote:
Okay, theoretically, I can see how this would work; invest in the right equipment and you can pretty much do anything at home (make an atomic bomb, prepare an Alinea-like dinner, why not?). I'm just not seeing how what you prepare at home is going to come even asteroid close to what you get at the restaurant. As you suggest, I believe this book is more "documentation" than "how to."


How do you think so many of these chefs got started? Not all of them worked at El Bulli or Fat Duck. I'm not sure this makes any more sense than if you were to say it about Robb Walsh's "Legends of Texas BBQ", The French Laundry Cookbook, or Diana Kennedy's "Art of Mexican Cooking".

I don't have liquid nitrogen sitting in my pantry or an anti-griddle or thermal circulating bath. But I could get one:

http://www.cuisinetechnology.com/

And others have:

http://www.browniepointsblog.com/2007/0 ... n-sorbets/


I'm going to wait to see the book before I draw any conclusions about the make-ability of the recipes, but if you need an anti-griddle or a thermal circulating bath to prepare them, it seems likely (don't you think) that more people might make Walsh's BBQ or Kennedy's Mexican chow than would make the food of Achatz? Not to mention the exceptional technical challenges posed by his cuisine, you need pretty much a newly outfitted kitchen to make the stuff...which is one of the reasons I found dining at his place satisfying. It broke new ground.
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#37
Posted May 21st 2007, 12:26pm
I don't have access to pasillas de oaxaca or an open-flame sidebox smoker either.
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#38
Posted May 21st 2007, 12:28pm
Nick--

Thanks. I've been to your place a few times and really enjoyed it. One thing that came up at a dinner last year was the lack of bread and cheese. I can appreciate the vision, and I think I understand the sentiment that a cheese "course" would be out of place at Alinea. However, the drink program (wine program) is essentially traditional. I asked our servers once, and now you, if wine is really so elemental that it remains a fundamental part of the dining experience. Why not ditch wine, or make it part of a cast (like cheese).
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#39
Posted May 21st 2007, 12:38pm
FWIW, when Achatz first took over the kitchen at Trio in 2001, Pioneed Press did a feature on him, including two recipes - Bubble Tea Appetizer and Root Beer Prime Beef Sirloin (with fennel, sassafrass, burdock, prunes and vanilla whipped potatoes).

If they weren't copyrighted, I'd add the recipes here, but suffice it to say there's no liquid nitrogen or anti-griddles involved. I made the bubble tea (which uses salmon roe for the bubbles) - it was good - maybe within only several thousand light-years away from what he was serving at Trio at the time.
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#40
Posted May 21st 2007, 1:05pm
extramsg wrote:Just to add: I think a food lover SHOULD go to these restaurants, at least once, and see what they think of the style. I think both make very good food. I would go back to either. I just don't think it's clear that Alinea is the better overall experience of the two.


I do consider eating at Alinea an important step in my culinary education. On a related note, we had dinner there with a college buddy, and afterwards reflected that the cost of dinner for four was two-thirds the cost of our tuition AND room and board for one year at the small, private college we went to in Michigan in the 70s. A good education ain't cheap.
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#41
Posted May 21st 2007, 1:38pm
I am happy to answer the questions about the wine, food, book etc. but perhaps someone should start a different thread or do so in some Alinea thread already on here. Just point me in the right direction so we stay on thread.

Also, those recipes are fine to post. They have appeared in several publications.






disclaimer: I am the co-owner of Alinea.
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#42
Posted May 21st 2007, 3:14pm
For a while we were dissatisfied with our bread service and tried eliminating it altogether, with the result that people felt something was missing but often couldn't put their finger on it. We have since begun to bake all of our breads in house with a dedicated morning baker, and they will be flavored and paired with appropriate courses. This is what we always envisioned, it just took some time to make it happen. The results so far are very exciting.


Hey Nick,

Can you elaborate on the bread? What kind of bread/rolls?

Are you still using the 2 different butters, the goat and the cow butters I believe...
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#43
Posted May 21st 2007, 5:08pm
nick.kokonas wrote:Also, those recipes are fine to post. They have appeared in several publications.

disclaimer: I am the co-owner of Alinea.


Posted them under Shopping and Cooking, here.
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#44
Posted May 22nd 2007, 8:09am
Hey Nick,

Can you elaborate on the bread? What kind of bread/rolls?

Are you still using the 2 different butters, the goat and the cow butters I believe...



The bread will vary from week to week depending on the menu. So far they have done everything from "pretzels" to flat breads, to whole loaves of wheat flavored with paprika, etc. The idea is to make breads that flavor well and have complimentary textures to the course(s) they are paired.

Yes, the butters remain, but we will likely introduce other spreads as well.


I don't have liquid nitrogen sitting in my pantry or an anti-griddle or thermal circulating bath.




The first time Grant tried using the "anti-griddle" concept was in my house on the back of a stainless steel spatula that was resting on dry ice. It worked just fine. Obviously, that method cannot be used to prepare 90 dishes per night at a restaurant, but it would be effectively the same at home.

Similarly, most sous-vide cooking can be accomplished quite well with plastic wrap, a few rubber bands, a large pot of water on the stove, and a poulder thermometer. This is how I poach fish, poultry, and meat at home, and again, it works quite well.

The gadgets and gizmos that get the press are not the "heart" of any of the recipes that will be presented in the Alinea cookbook. Though novel approaches to cooking abound, all of them can be created using decidedly low tech methods. They do, however, require care and time. But that is true of any detailed recipe.


In order to make sure it is the case that the recipes are clearly written and are indeed makable by the adventurous home cook, we have enlisted about 35 amateur enthusiasts to test the recipes prior to publication. The results of their efforts, good and bad, will be posted on our cookbook website.


((required disclaimer: I am the co-owner of Alinea))
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#45
Posted May 23rd 2007, 10:07am
christine wrote:I read up on Avenues, too. Sounds great. You all kind of put me on the fence between the two, but I think we'll stick with Alinea.

So, if we're only going once probably ever given our budget, I suppose we should go for the big guns and do the tour, right? Anyone know offhand what the wine pairings cost?

As noted above, the 12- and 23-course tasting menus at Alinea run $135 and $195. With reasonable wine (but without going crazy), you're going to typically pay $300-400 per person including tax and tip. Less if you get the little menu and you scrimp on wine.

At Avenues, the 3- and 5-course a la carte offerings and the 10-course tasting menu run $90, $120, and $160, respectively. With reasonable wine, tax, and tip, figure $175-275 per person including tax and tip. Less if you get the 3-course and scrimp on wine.
Last edited by nsxtasy on May 23rd 2007, 5:36pm, edited 2 times in total.
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#46
Posted May 23rd 2007, 5:04pm
The price of wine pairings begins at roughly 2/3rds the cost of the menu. So that puts the 12-course with pairings at $225 and the Tour with pairings at $325. I say roughly because the pairings change all the time... but that number is our goal.

From there, we do offer a number of more rarefied pairings, routinely opening older vintage wines, champagnes, hard to find selections, etc. If you interests lie there, please ask one of our sommeliers for their current offerings.

Finally, if you have a party of 6, a nice option is to order the pairings plus a bottle or two of wines that you particularly enjoy. The cost of the pairings will be reduced appropriately and your choices will be inserted in the progression.




((disclaimer: I am the co-owner of Alinea)).
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#47
Posted May 23rd 2007, 5:09pm
My wife and I got out of Alinea doing the 12 course with only one glass of wine and over a 20% tip plus tax for just about $360 total.
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#48
Posted May 29th 2007, 4:37pm
Four of us will be dining at Alinea in July. We are coming to Chicago to see our Giants play at Wrigley and we will be cramming as much of Chicago, including diverse food, as we can into 4 days. Because of that we plan on the smaller menu, will we really be "missing the big guns?"

BTW, I was surprised to be asked to decide when making the reservations months in advance. I think we should stick to the smaller menu because there is a sensory overload that happens on our vacations. Too much, too often diminishes the meal.
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#49
Posted May 29th 2007, 4:38pm
Let'sEat wrote:Four of us will be dining at Alinea in July. We are coming to Chicago to see our Giants play at Wrigley and we will be cramming as much of Chicago, including diverse food, as we can into 4 days. Because of that we plan on the smaller menu, will we really be "missing the big guns?"

BTW, I was surprised to be asked to decide when making the reservations months in advance. I think we should stick to the smaller menu because there is a sensory overload that happens on our vacations. Too much, too often diminishes the meal.


I've done the smaller (12 course) menu twice.
It is a good choice. You get in and out in a reasonable time (2-3 hours).
I would stick with that.
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#50
Posted July 12th 2008, 7:38am
Since we have the same "problem" ("Alinea or Moto?") I would like to pose some questions that might help me decide:

1. Wine: We are a party of 3 - 1 of us doesn't drink alcohol at all and 1 is fine with a glass of champagne and maybe 1 glass of wine. In some european restaurants (we are from germany), especially france, it is still very unusual not to order a certain amount of wine (since this is where he money is made). In the worst case this can come down to a condescending remark or snotty service.
Therefore I would like to know if I risk to get some kind of "lesser" treatment at one of those 2 restaurants, when ordering maybe just one bottle of wine for the 2 "drinkers", or if 2 of us split a wine pairing and one stays with water? After all, the tip depends on the sum of the final check...(another argument against this very strange tradition.)
I read a review on some blog where they seemed to be rather unwilling to accept the order of a single glass of wine at Alinea, and would hardly let the diner have a look at the by-the-glass-options himself.

2. Atmosphere: Which of the 2 has the more "relaxed" and "joyful" atmosphere. Or to put it the other way: which one is less "stuffy" and "formal"? We are experienced diners and don't have a problem with wearing a suit for dinner. But we don't like restaurants were you feel like you have to whisper and were the servers feel like they have to lecture you how to eat your dishes and are so self important that they hardly crack a smile...(anynone who has dined at certain 3* places in france or italy will know what I mean). "Providence" in L.A. for example was a real revelation in this regard: relaxed and funny, yet refined and discret (but that might be the "mellow california" thing...). In germany, for those who are interested, even the very best restaurants try very hard to make for a relaxed dining-atmosphere - like you were a guest at someones home, not in a "temple".

3. Food: Which of the 2 is more "unusual, yet tasty" when it comes to the food? I know hat this depends on ones taste and preferences. From the pictures I have seen, Alinea dishes look far, far more appealing than those at Moto - but some diners seem to feel that when it comes to the taste and culinay satisfaction, it is just the other way round.

In any case we are looking for an experience/a kind of restaurant that we don't have in that way over here (meaning: the classical michelin-***-restaurant - that is why we'll try to get a table at Schwa for the other big night out).

At the moment we are leaning towards Alinea, even though the place looks rather, how shall I say, "strict" (I hope this is the right word).

Thank you for sharing your opinions and experiences!

Regards from germany
kai

(PS: and maybe there is even a third restaurant that suits my description even better)
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#51
Posted July 12th 2008, 7:54am
Kai-m...

Addressing items one and two, though the atmosphere is exceptionally clean and modern, many (myself included) have commented on the fact that the service at Alinea tends to be unusually warm and friendly for a restaurant of its caliber, almost bordering on chummy. Some have gone so far as to suggest it's a fault of the restaurant (not me). In any case, you have no fear of experiencing an overly stuffy atmosphere, and certainly won't receive any grief for your wine order or lack thereof. When I went, we drank no alcohol of any kind. I don't mean to suggest that the staff at Moto isn't also friendly. It's just that I found them unremarkable in that regard whereas the Alinea staff seemed to go far out of their way to make you feel very much at ease, and subsequent reading seems to suggest that it's a very conscious decision on their part.

As far as the food goes, I'm firmly entrenched in the Alinea camp and I just don't think it's a comparison, but that's by no means a universally held opinion and I'm sure somebody will jump in to refute my preference of one over the other shortly :-)
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#52
Posted July 12th 2008, 10:28am
I'm firmly in the Alinea camp as well. I have friends coming in from New York and suggested that we eat at one of the two (they have never been to either)... it was Alinea, no questions asked. It's not that I didn't enjoy eating at Moto, but almost two years after dining at Alinea I still have most of the dishes I ate burned in to my memory.

That said, if you're looking for really down to earth, absolutely no worries about alcohol, and great and innovative food, consider Schwa. It's BYOB, so unless you bring wine, you won't be drinking any, and it's the cooks that bring you your food, so there's certainly no concern over stuffy waitstaff. Not to dissuade you from eating at Alinea, mind you, but just something else to consider...

-Dan
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#53
Posted July 12th 2008, 11:11am
I definitely agree with those here who've recommended Alinea. It's not that I didn't like Moto, I did. But Alinea is, for all intents and purposes, the finest restaurant at which I've ever eaten and it's no less fun that Moto, either. In fact, it succeeds on every level. I've eaten there numerous times and will continue to do so on a regular basis because it remains compelling, meal after meal.

=R=
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#54
Posted July 12th 2008, 1:15pm
Thanks for all the replies, so far!
Seems like Alinea is a "go" then...

@dansch: Schwa is planned for our last night in town - if I can manage to get a table. Not only for the reasons you mentioned but also because I hear that the food is amazing...(by "so there's certainly no concern over stuffy waitstaff", I hope you didn't mean to say that at the others there *is* concern over stuffy waiters... :) )

greetings
kai
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#55
Posted July 12th 2008, 1:21pm
kai-m wrote:(by "so there's certainly no concern over stuffy waitstaff", I hope you didn't mean to say that at the others there *is* concern over stuffy waiters... :) )

If I may put words in Dan's mouth, I believe he simply meant that it's not even possible to have stuffy waitstaff at Schwa since there's no waitstaff at all :-)

(Not that you need fear at Schwa anyway -- the guys are as chill as chill can be. To a fault, some might say :-) )
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#56
Posted July 12th 2008, 6:14pm
Dmnkly wrote:If I may put words in Dan's mouth, I believe he simply meant that it's not even possible to have stuffy waitstaff at Schwa since there's no waitstaff at all :-)


Well put.

-Dan
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#57
Posted October 30th 2008, 12:17pm
Well, so we have been to Moto, when we visited Chicago in september.

I was very eager to try this place since I have read so many great things about the place here and on eGullet as well.

But boy, oh boy, what a huge disappointment in every regard.

Looking back I should have seen it coming, because in a way it already started when I called to reconfirm my reservation and the lady checked back on the 2-3 (!) dietary restrictions (apple, wal- and hazelnuts) I gave them via e-mail, saying something like "Oh, as I see I have a whole list (...?!?) of restrictions here, that I have to give to the kitchen " in a repoachful tone as if she wanted to say "man, it might be difficult to cook for you since can virtually eat nothing...".

Anyway.
The restaurant itself is a nice place, intimate, yet the tables have enough distance, decor is nicely reduced and modern. But the small size of he dining room was a huge problem that night, because there was a group of 12-14 people at one table, that was so extremely loud and vulgar (skrieking laughs and "conversations" from end of the table to another - all at once) that it was virtually impossible to have a decent conversation without shouting at one another. As a result all other diners (mostly couples obviously looking for a "romatic" dinner) looked pretty pissed. I mean: If I go to a restaurant of that category I don't expect something like that. And I expect a restaurant to avoid such situations (by not taking groups that size) or to take care of the problem right away. I thought about telling one of the waiters - but they were so into this group, even pushing their "party"-feeling with jokes and quips, that it seemed like they were friends of the house or something. As a result, service for the other diners was non-existent at times...but I'll get to that later.

The noise didn't really bother us (3 diners) at first, because after all, we told ourselves, we were there "for the food".
But unfortunately the food was just not good. (We had the 10-course-menu.)

The problems were quite simple: apart from the desserts and one savory course, every dish was either over- or underseasoned. Some preparations seemed to have no salt at all, others way too much. Many dishes tasted either "mexican" in some way or downright artificial.

The "gags" didn't make any sense, either. Iam definitely familiar with and a friend of "avant garde" techniques and "decontsructed" dishes etc.
But at Moto it just didn't make culinary sense - and that is, in my opinion, the worst you can say about an "avant garde" restaurant. Where is, for example, the sense in serving the diner ordinary pig's belly with ordinary baked beans and, oh wow!, shaved ice cream that is supposed to taste like coleslaw salad ? Presented as "our take on a barbecue dinner", the pig and beans weren't any better than at any given barbecue (in fact, I had way better barbecued suckling pig in sardegna, where this is the traditional specialty). And the (very salty) ice cream didn't add any complexity either. A total miss.

Moto's main goal seems to be to take traditional dishes and "transform" them in some way: turning coleslaw into ice; turning greek salad into some crunchy chip and some liquid; turning the seasoning for the squab (I think it was) into some powder that the diner has to lick from a tiny sheet of paper...
But where is the sense in doing that if you have nothing to add? It is just showing off some "new techniques". Triviality on a plate.

The one good tasting dish was the "roadkill" - Iam a huge friend of "dark" humor, but nevertheless I have to ask: why this silly presentation, which is just a wannabe provocative, juvenile and tasteless joke for it's own sake. From a culinary perspectve it doesn't add the slightest bit.

But the lack of thoughtfulness at Moto maybe shows best in those silly forks that have some herbs attached to them: in our case it was (not-so-fresh) cilantro - cilantro!! A herb that hardly has any smell to it, even when you hold it right to your nose (you have to rub it to ge a nice smell). This shows very well that at Moto they just don't really think about what they are doing - the just do something, anything, whatever...

To make the disappointing experience complete, the service was probably the worst I have ever had in such a "high class" restaurant.
First, it took endlessly until we got the (oversalted) edible menu (admittedly a nice joke!). Then it took endlessly (even for european standards) until someone came to take our order.
I had the wine pairing - but the 2nd pairing was already forgotten. As was the one glass of wine that my fiancee had ordered at the beginning. When I told a waiter about the forgotten pairing (in a very friendly way!), he apologized and said that as a compensation he would pour a pairing for my fiancee on the next course, as well - which, of course, did not happen.
On several occasions our waters glasses were empty for quite some time - and no waiter in sight; on one course we had no silverware when the dishes were served; on one course the sommelier started saying something about the wine, but then the dishes arrived and he just disappeared, leaving it unknown to me what wine I was having in my glass; and then they had one waiter who had some kind of "homeboy" attitude when explaining the dishes, gesticulating with his hands like a rapper, thereby getting so extremely close to the plates with his fingers that he almost touched our food (in some cases we were really not sure) - but after a while this was just funny. In fact we tried to take the whole mess with humor.

Oh, and: When they finally realized that they kind of "owed" me one more wine, I was told that they had "of course" not fogotten it. And then, with the last dessert, I was suddenly presented with two different dessert-wines at once (?!?)...one of which, according to the menu, would actually have been the pairing for my first dessert, if I had taken the Grand Tour Moto with wine pairing.
This mistake showed one more time how little care they actually take in the stuff they serve, despite all the pretense (waiters running around with headsets...).

Usually, despite my european descent, Iam a quite decent tipper (20% at least, mostly more).
This time I wanted to give 15%, not a cent more. But guess what: they added an 18%-tip to the bill themselves...*

So if the question is "Alinea or Moto", my vote is clear...

greetings
kai


*PS: this was only topped by the terrible, terrible head-waiter at Kienzes Chop House, who even added 22%...

PPS: On the positive side I have to say: I left some critical notes on the survey you can fill ot at the end of your meal - and one day later I got an e-mail, where they apologized for the disappointing perfomance and invited me to come back any time for the GTM. I doubt I will be able to make this, nor am I very eager to. But I appreciate the gesture.
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#58
Posted October 30th 2008, 1:51pm
because there was a group of 12-14 people at one table, that was so extremely loud and vulgar (skrieking laughs and "conversations" from end of the table to another - all at once) that it was virtually impossible to have a decent conversation without shouting at one another.


Were they eating raccoon?

...

Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed review. We'll have to agree to disagree here - herb-forks, paper-licking, and roadkill-presentation (inspired, might I add, by some of our forum members) demonstrate a sense of humor and intersensory engagement that I find missing from other places employing molecular gastronomic methods. In my experiences, the servers have been fun and modest, and front-of-house bends over backwards for special requests, so I regret to hear of any off night with respect to Moto's staff.

I enjoyed reading all of your reports on many of my favorite restaurants. Next time you're going to be in Chicago, post in the Events board, and I bet there will be a number of us eager to introduce you to our own favorite dishes. Tschues!
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#59
Posted November 2nd 2008, 10:02am
You ask a simple question and I give you a simple answer.

Alinea.

Moto is great, but Alinea wins because of nuance. Where at Moto you have a literal composite of real life objects and scenes made from food, at Alinea you have food made from a seemingly perfect flavor landscape. The courses at Alinea harbor that extra compound, uniting and dividing tastebuds in harmony.

Either place would be great, Moto seems to have improved in the nuance factor the last time I dined there.

No matter how you look at it though, with the choices widdled down to these two, it's a winner.
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#60
Posted August 1st 2010, 6:20pm
Alinea all the way. The food is fantastic, the atmosphere top notch, and it's always a great time for all. The price is well worth the experience. Moto has always seemed to me a place for nouveau riche hipsters with more money then sense.
The few times I've been there the food was bland to bad and the experience is entirely based on cheap gimmicks. Did I say cheap as far as gimmicks go its way overpriced. I liken it to a McDonald's that charges $200 per plate.
You'll hear lots of good rep about it but only because people are like parrots and refuse to think for themselves. It'll continue to be trendy for another year or two until some other idiot opens an even more gimmicky place nearby. When our Michelin guide comes out you'll see it has 0 stars. Sorry to bust your green brained bubbles but someone needs to speak up for good taste.
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