My husband and I are coming to Chicago in July for the second time. We plan on hitting a lot of different food spots of various styles, but are interested in including one high end meal. Last year we opted for Alinea for this meal, and were both wowed by the menu, and the experience. We loved the unpredictability of the selections and presentations, the variety and the spectacle, and of course, how amazing everything tasted. We also both remarked on how comfortable we felt in the dining room (we're not business types) and the restaurant's combination of laid back and professional service.
So this year, we've got a bit of a debate. My husband would like to return to Alinea because he feels that he won't find another restaurant that could compete with the experience we had there. I, on the other hand, feel like Alinea was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and am hesitant to return at risk of diluting it. We've looked at a number of posts on chowhound that talk about high end Chicago restaurants, and have looked at the websites of those on nsxtasy's top 8 list and a few other restaurants that are mentioned a lot. We're interested in a tasting menu, and we've narrowed it to three and wonder what others would do in our shoes:
Tru - I'm intrigued by this place but a bit confused by the menu as presented on the web site.
Moto - I think this was our second place finisher last year, and so seems the natural followup. We like the Japanese influence and would probably go for the grand tasting menu if we went.
Alinea - should we stick with what we know we loved?
Or is there something you think we've totally overlooked?