Is the New Alinea America’s Best Restaurant?


In its November issue, Robb Report published a piece titled “The Death of Fine Dining,” claiming that “fine dining…is something no one cares about anymore.” In the same article, chef Eric Ripert calls fine dining in America today “vibrant.” “Millennials like to be pampered, and fine dining is basically a lifestyle,” Ripert said.

One of the biggest stories in American fine dining this year was the closing and subsequent reopening five months later of Alinea in Chicago. Chef Grant Achatz told the Chicago Tribune, “Do any of us want to have a five-hour meal anymore?” With that in mind, Achatz cut the length of dinner from 5 hours to about 3.5 hours, and he orchestrated an experience that gets you out of your seat, makes you laugh, and eventually makes you cry (because it passes too quickly)—and it is far from gimmicky. Patrons buy tickets in advance for three set menus served in one of the three sections of the restaurant: the upstairs Salon, the Gallery, and the Kitchen Table (which is sold out through the end of the year). Here’s a taste. (