Anyone who has been to Alinea in Chicago knows what an experience it is: 15 courses, edible balloons and a mind-blowing presentation full of creativity and whimsy. So when the restaurant announced a to-go menu in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, many fans were curious how the menu matched up to the real deal.
And while it’s nothing quite as extravagant as dining within the restaurant, the menu offers comfort food staples (think Beef Wellington and creme brûlée) for those who want to enjoy fine dining in the comfort of their home without the hefty price tag.
Currently, Alinea is offering two pick-up offerings, including a Comfort Food menu, consisting of Osso Buco and Risotto alla Milanese. Enjoy slow-braised veal shanks in a meat-based tomato sauce with saffron-infused risotto, as well as an antipasto dish and dessert of tiramisu whoopie pie.
There is also a special menu for Alinea’s 15th anniversary (called Alinea’s 15th Anniversary Experience), which is a delicious six-course menu from chef Grant Achatz like Blis steelhead roe, chilled English pea soup, spicy Gulf prawn, “rootbeer” of braised beef short rib, wild mushrooms and green asparagus and an array of chocolates. Other dishes have included duck cassoulet with green beans amandine and a banana cream meringue tart, and the restaurant will be consistently releasing new menus.
Restaurants are some of the hardest-hit small businesses who have been forced to shutter, laying off hundreds of thousands of restaurant workers across the country. Many establishments have been donating proceeds of take-out food to its staff, or starting GoFundMe pages to support employees and their families while they are unable to work. Co-owner of Alinea, Nick Kokonas, tweeted that Alinea Group (which owns notable Chicago restaurants including Alinea, Roister, Aviary and Next) has been able to hire many of its staff back thanks to these new take-out options and will distribute profits among staff equally.
Alinea is using the reservations system Tock, which Kokonas co-founded in 2014, to push out its menus. For Alinea lovers worldwide, the dishes will only be available for pick-up for Chicago residents.
To order, visit exploretock.com