The experience of a restaurant is about much more than the menu alone. The atmosphere, the design details, and the setting are all important aspects of the experience.
Good food is an experience, an experience that good design will make complete. The worlds best restaurants consider not only the food they serve but the space they serve it in.
Together, the food, the atmosphere and the space create the experience.
One restaurant providing a world class experience is America’s top restaurant, Alinea in Chicago.
Alinea is committed to bringing a novel and exciting experience for its guests. Its owners set the restaurant up in 2005 with one clear objective: ‘to create fun and delicious food’.
Serving up to 30 courses, each one as magical, surprising and beautifully created as the last, Head Chef, Grant Achatz’s work has been labelled a culinary magic show by some of the most respected food critics across the world.
After ten incredible years in business the founders decided it was time to change it up; both the menu and the look. The owners closed Alinea for five months and spent a seven figure sum reinventing this world class restaurant.
Scrapping it all and starting again is almost unheard of in the world of Michelin star restaurants, so for Alinea, a three Michelin star restaurant this was a risky move. However both Achatz and Owner, Nick Kokonas agree, it is the risk that motivates them.
The magic of the dishes is what the restaurant is known for and has gained acclaim for world wide. One such dish is served on a pillow filled with lavender scented air that emits its fragrance as soon as the force of the knife and fork hit the plate.
But Achatz admits that once these magical dishes have been experienced they lose some of their intrigue and novelty. The same goes for the long entrance way, built as an optical illusion, where a surprise door opens as guests walk passed the sensor.
Both the decor and the food had to change to create a completely, new holistic experience for guests. And that is exactly what the owners have done. The new Alinea is designed to surprise aesthetically, psychically and sensually.
The design comprises of a luxurious yet clean design, creating a perfectly polished and uncomplicated backdrop, where the decorative details set the tone and contribute to the overall ambiance of the space, where the spectacular food can be the star of the show. And the show still retains all the magic of the original performance .
Everything in this space combines to create an experience. An experience like no other.