21st Century Ltd. || 6 stars

We recently joined in on America’s first and greatest restaurant swap, where two 3 Michelin Star Restaurants traded spaces for 5 days. Direct from the words of 21st Century Limited itself – “For just a short time, two restaurants, 800 miles apart, will trade places. The team behind Alinea will open their Chicago restaurant in New York’s Eleven Madison Park. Subsequently, the team at Eleven Madison Park will open their New York restaurant in Chicago’s Alinea.”.

Tickets where limited, and alibeit not a bargain, however, the experience was well worth the price of admission from our account, if you are into culinary adventures. There are plenty of places to read all about the dinner from expert food writers & journalists like here or here. This is a quick video tour thru the evening.


We took along a new ‘compact’ camera – we hadn’t tested it as it arrived minutes before we left the house, so the photos are kinda crap I am afraid, so the dinner was not recorded as well as we have with past events. Sorry about that. None-the-less, some stand-out dishes for the evening in no particular order are as follows:

NO#1 – Grant Achatz with his carrot-top hair making table side carrot tartare. This is vegetarian food that I could get into. Served with 9 condiments to add into the ‘carrot mulch’ it was looking like a it of a hot-mess, but I was loving the plate, and once we mixed everything together – WOW it was – awesome!

NO#2 – Kitchen Table – Manhattan. Loved the clever recreation of this classic cocktail, I am not usually a fan, but when constructed with these methods, and adding in all the different textures and temperatures, this Manhattan could be my ‘happy-hour’ cocktail of choice. [see video above for more details]

NO#3 – Picnics & Cheese Courses – Who doesn’t love these things & when combined together  – ‘winning’ [& not in a Charlie Sheen kinda way].

NO#4 The Egg – a savory relation to our favorite sweet Egg [highlighted here], this has now become our favorite savory egg, and we are now wanting someone to open a store that provides us with nothing but tasty morsels in perfectly cut eggshells, incorporating of course egg. This Egg was filled with Sturgeon Sabayon, at the bottom was a beautiful herb oil. MMM – equally as good on the salty front to Takashi’s sweet version.

NO#5 Caviar. This was not served alone, it was apart of a mutli component Sturgeon dish. A follow on to ‘the Egg’, this was part two: smoked sturgeon; served with a bowl consisting of baby gem lettuce, soft-poached quail eggs, pickled onions with everything bagel crumble; then there were toasted rye crisps to go with the the caviar in a ‘can’ consisting of cream cheese topped caviar. It should be something you can grab at the check-out as an impulse buy at Wholefoods or alike, I would totally be into it.

We were happy to hear, that this will not be the last collaboration, in fact there was talk of a potential tour. Can’t wait to see where this adventure goes next. All-A-Broad!

Alinea on Urbanspoon


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