If you missed out on part one of my dinner at Alinea, click here to catch up. Otherwise, let’s get back into this! I left off with course #8, which had Amy and me drinking beet juice out of a giant block of ice. Bizarre. Tasty, but bizarre.
The next course was what they referred to as the “throwback course” due to its rustic nature and large portions. It started off with a full sea bass.
The fillets had already been separated from it (thank god), so Amy and I each took one. The skin was perfectly crispy and salty, and the fish was full of flavor. The other dish that was served in the “throwback course” was a modernized ratatouille.
It was very fresh, with a combination of sweet and savory flavors. It did a great job of bringing some brightness to the sea bass. Lastly, there was a small bowl of fried “chips” with a pesto dipping sauce.
These were a nice addition, but they were so oily that I was glad there were only a few on the table. The whole course was completely unexpected and delicious, but it was a LOT of food for one of 20 courses!
The next course came in a small wax bowl, and the waiter described the course as being so time-sensitive that he actually stood there and watched us eat it (awkward!). In the bowl was a cold, creamy potato soup, and on the wire attached to it was a warm ball of potato, some black truffle, and a couple of other unidentifiable objects. We were told to pull the wire out and let the ingredients drop into the soup, so I did. And spilled all over the table. Oops. Anyways, this dish was incredible. The hot potato and the cold potato together were just fantastic. I wish I could say that I tasted the black truffle, but I didn’t. It still counts, though!
The next course came out on a pillow that was infused with Hollywood juniper. I guess the point was to have the scent of juniper in the air as you ate the course, which they titled Foraging for Mushrooms. Here’s a close-up:
The dish was mainly a combination of several kinds of wild mushrooms. I don’t remember too much about this dish, which probably means it wasn’t the best. I think I remember the chewy texture of the mushrooms more than anything. Meh.
Soon, the waiter brought out some red cabbage “flags,” which were pieces of red cabbage hanging from sticks. We then were told that we had to assemble a cradle for our cabbage using two puzzle pieces (unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the pieces, but you can kind of see where they fit into the wooden plate). The waiter then spooned some venison with a berry sauce into the leaf. We also were given a billion other little ingredients on a glass plate that we were supposed to dump into the leaf, as well. I honestly can only remember one of the ingredients, which was a little sweet potato square (top right).
Sorry for the blurriness, but here’s the finished cabbage wrap. We then had to roll up the wraps and eat ‘em. They were super tasty, and the warm venison in berry sauce was fantastic. The only unfortunate thing was that all the other ingredients were so small that they weren’t in every bite. But this course was definitely fun and a little messy!
The final course that I’m going to talk about today was called the Black Truffle Explosion. It was a raviolo with shaved Parmesan, black truffle, and romaine. Inside the raviolo was a seriously powerful explosion of some kind of liquid. So powerful, in fact, that the waiter told us to be sure to seal our lips when we ate it. I don’t know exactly what the liquid inside was, but it was goooooooood. And I adored the big piece of Parmesan on top. Fabulous.
I’ll tell you about the final courses tomorrow, so y’all come back now, hear?!