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May 21, 2007 01:45 PM

Alinea solo

I will be in Chicago on business and was wondering if Alinea was a viable solo dining option. I've read the posts on here extolling it's virtures, so it's clear that it's worth the cost. Just wondering if I'd enjoy it all by my lonesome, or if it's the kind of thing that's best experienced in the company of others.

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  1. I wouldn't hesitate to go there by myself. No, you don't have someone to ooh and aah or compare experiences with, but the staff will often stand to briefly chat and I've eaten many nice dinners on business trips that while not of this caliber, were not diminished by my solo status.

    1. I agree. Any good restaurant should be able to make a solo diner feel welcome and provide the same dining experience as a group, and Alinea is no exception.

      Go. Enjoy.

      1. We dined at Alinea just recently and did the 24 course Grand Tour. It took all of 4 hours and I think doing something like that solo would be a mistake. I personally found the wait between courses to long especially because a lot of the dishes are one biters. If you do one of the smaller tastings and ask your waiter to speed up the wait between courses a bit you would be fine. The experience is a true blast and the food/presentation is brilliant so, go for it and enjoy. Cheers.

        2 Replies
        1. re: fatboy44

          I totally disagree with this. I've done Alinea both with a date and alone. While you do certainly miss out on a bit of collective "ooh, ahh" factor, the staff is very cognizant of reading solo diners. I was there on the night before an interview, and they were perfect about moving things along quickly and giving me my space. After the meal, with a bit of time away from my interview prep materials, I had a nice chat with my captain.

          I've done the the "tasting" (12-ish courses) alone in just under two hours. A truly excellent restaurant throughout.

          1. re: BryanZ

            BryanZ, you should read my post again, I suggested, a smaller tasting (12 or 16?) so you could be out in 2 hours. I think that being alone at a table for 4 hours, never mind how attentive the wait staff is, is just to long to handle. Regards, fatboy44.

            BTW, the evening at Alinea was one of the best and most interesting food experiences I've had in a long time.