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Aug 24, 2012 12:55 PM

21st Century Ltd.

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  1. Obviously, EMP and Alinea are doing a swap sometime this fall.

    1. I suppose this is one answer to what's next at EMP after Labour Day.

      Having never dined at Alinea myself, I'll certainly be hitting OpenTable as soon as they announce the dates that Achatz will be in New York...

      4 Replies
        1. re: Sneakeater

          Surely some of you Gotham gourmands have already been to Alinea!

          Are you suggesting I may have some difficulty booking a table? Dude, you're really harshing my mellow right now...

          UPDATED: a friend wonders if this might not provide EMP an opportunity to test untrammelled demand with a Next-style pricing regime. Ouch.

          1. re: Winterpool

            I think your friend is right but not about the variable pricing, more about a ticket system for this project in general. My guess is that they'll be using the same pre-paid ticket system powering the NoMad Rooftop, Next, and Alinea sites. It's a white label solution created by Next/Alinea that Achatz/Kokonas hope to rollout to many more restaurants in the future.

            Also given that the Per Se-Alinea dinner cost $1500pp including tax, tip, wine, and signed cookbooks in 2008, I am cautious about the price point for this.

            1. re: kathryn

              'Also given that the Per Se-Alinea dinner cost $1500pp including tax, tip, wine, and signed cookbooks in 2008, I am cautious about the price point for this.'

              Mellow: demolished.


        Tickets to the dinners are $495 per person plus tax and a 20 percent service charge. Wine pairings are included in the price. The restaurants have not yet set a date when tickets will go on sale.

        Alinea will be at EMP from Sept 26-30. EMP will be at Alinea Oct 10-14.

        4 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          For that much $, I'd sooner return to Per Se for the Extended Tasting Menu (and the service charge at Per Se is included in the $500 cost).

          1. re: ellenost

            Or, y'know, go to both EMP ($195 dinner tasting) and Alinea ($210 tasting) separately.

            Given that it's enforced wine pairings, they'll probably be pouring some expensive wines (which would be lost on me, and probably left unfinished).

            1. re: kathryn

              That sounds like a great idea! (Or if you can get a good price for a flight--my last trip to Chicago cost $274, fly to Chicago and eat at Alinea).

              1. re: kathryn

                I hope they post the intended wines in advance: for ~$640 per person, they had better be very good.

                Does Alinea include service in its prices? If not, then this may not be a bad deal, considering the equivalent might be $210 + $200 or so wines + $100 tax, tip + airfare + hotel room.

          2. Somewhat to my surprise, Ryan Sutton does the sums and concludes: 'Your call, world. But we might give this one a try.'


            'In Chicago, the tasting menu typically starts around $210 (it can range from $185-$265 depending on your reservation) and wine pairings generally start at $165 or thereabouts.

            'So after 20% service charge and 11.5% Chicago sales tax, you’re at $502 for one or $1,004 for two.'

            1. I am a bit confused here. Is Chef Humm going to be doing any cooking at his restaurant while the Alinea crew is in town? And what about going the other way - will the Alinea crew be in their restaurant when EMP is in town?

              2 Replies
              1. re: koko85

                From the Chicago article:

                "both restaurants will continue operating in their home cities during their week on the road. The challenge will be running two restaurants simultaneously in two time zones while maintaining some semblance of consistency. "

                After rereading your question I don't think this answers your question but I'll post it anyway JIC.

                1. re: koko85

                  From the same article:

                  "Three days before the Sept. 26 opening night, Alinea chef Grant Achatz and chef de cuisine Matt Chasseur will fly their team of a dozen staffers to New York, and in a 72-hour crash course, effectively train the Eleven Madison Park staff to replicate Alinea. The process repeats when Humm, general manager Will Guidara and team arrives in Chicago Oct. 7. Recipe cards have already arrived in both kitchens in preparation."

                  So staff wise, it's a dozen Alinea people traveling to EMP and EMP will have its full staff. And vice versa.