Restaurants & Bars

Alinea - Tips for a virgin visit

Db Cooper | Sep 30, 200811:25 AM     28

I'm going to be dining at Alinea for the first time on October 16th. I'm coming into Chicago for the weekend and was able to score a reservation for that evening.

Here's what is known for sure:

1. We're each having the 12-course tasting menu.
2. We're dining later in the evening.

Here is where I could use some help/advice/thoughts

1. Would you recommend doing the wine pairings with the food? I'm a little concerned that the wine will start to over-power our taste buds and clog the minds as we get later into the proceedings. It should be stated that while we enjoy wine, we are by no means experts in the field. What I'm trying to get at is it worth it for someone who may not apprecaite it as much as an experienced wine drinker.

2. Is it possilby smarter to maybe just order a bottle of red and/or white and vary back and forth between the two depending on what is being served? I know they won't match up as perfectly as the pairings themselves, but would that be a better plan for non-experts?

3. Does anyone know what the pricepoint would be if we ordered the wine pairings? It really isn't a huge issue, but I'm figuring we're around $350 to $375 before we start getting to beverages. I'm just trying to get an idea of the different choices.

4. What is the dress like in there? Do men wear suits? How about the ladies? How formal does it get or is it casual as well? Just trying to get a feel as to what to pack.

Any advice that anyone has regarding this will be extremely helpful in terms of planning the night.

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