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Apr 7, 2010 09:36 AM

kind of silly question about testingmenu and Alinea in particular

So I have been absolutely dreaming about going to alinea.
My husband started a save up for alinea fund where everytime I dont feel like cooking and we want to get cheap take out, i cook something instead and we put $20 in a jar.

I am kind of a intermediate newbie.. and I am worried I might not be able to enjoy alinea as much as I wish..
here is the back story

we tried arun's thai , it was fine, right amount of food for me
We went to topolbampo, got the tasting menu, we started eating around 8.45 and by the second course I was pretty much done, third course I started hurting and dessert was juslost one me. I was in actual pain, too much food, too much favor, too late,...i was soo sad!

we then took a trip to Napa later that year and I planned a 2 day whirlwind restaurant tour thanks to chowhound..
well we started at Hurley's (by accident) which was great but did not sit well with me, followedby some champ at domaine chandon, dinner at Brix (amazing) then the next had lunch at Redd and dinner at the girl and the fig. litteraly could not eat anything for the second dinner, actually was in pain from eating too much delicious food.:).. once again

So, now that I wrote a novel, can anyone of you that have been to Alinea, reassure me that it will be ok :)
it sounds light and tiny portions so it sounds ok but I am just alittle worried..and it is about $400 for 2 so i dont want to be finished byt the 5th course..
Maybe i should just starve myself and eat iceberg lettuce for a couple days before :)

1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

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  1. I did the tasting at Topo recently also and I couldn't finish my entree either.

    That being said, the service at Alinea is very well paced (the tour takes about 4 hours!) so your body has time to digest what you're eating. I have had the tour and never felt uncomfortable.

    In addition, there are two chef's menu's at Alinea. One, the tasting, has 12 courses for $150. The tour has 23 courses and is $225. If you look at the menus on line you will see that each menu item has a circle on it. The circles are of different sizes and the sizes indicate the size of each course. The littlest circles are literally not more than a single bite. Most courses are a bite or two. The biggest circles are small portions.

    So the direct answer to your question is that you should be ok. That being said, you may want to eat lightly that day, but for Pete's sake, don't starve yourself for days.

    1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

    1. >> reassure me that it will be ok :)

      It will be okay. :)

      I ate there last year and had the tasting (smaller) menu, 12 courses. It took three hours. The portion sizes varied, as chicgail notes, but none of them were ridiculously tiny. The amount of food was perfect; we left comfortably full, not overstuffed/bloated but not feeling like we wanted any more, either.


      2 Replies
      1. re: nsxtasy

        Thanks for the feedback. I feel better already :)
        no worry about starving myself for days, that is not something I can do! (could eventually last a couple hours). I am planning on doing the tour.. that is all we can afford without feeling ridiculous for spending that much money. It is already a tough sell even though I know it will be worth it.

        1. re: kirikara

          >> I am planning on doing the tour.. that is all we can afford without feeling ridiculous for spending that much money.

          Maybe you mean the tasting? Remember, the tour is the bigger menu ($225), and the tasting is the smaller menu ($150). FWIW, I was very happy with the tasting menu and didn't feel like I was missing out on anything by doing so.