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Lunch break

There's no restaurant in America that I want to eat at as much as Alinea.

By Ezra Klein  |  February 23, 2010; 1:08 PM ET
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Based on that video, I'm with you on this one... I assume this is one of those, 'if you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it' desserts?

Just tweaky.

Posted by: Jaycal | February 23, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

How utterly ridiculous.

Posted by: mslavick | February 23, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

What the hell do you do with all the things he's spread on the table? I kept expecting him to wave a magic wand and have them all come together somehow, but at the end he just says, "Thank you," and walks away leaving a mess all over the table.

Posted by: _SP_ | February 23, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I've eaten there several times, and always look forward to going back. Certainly the best restaurant experience I've ever had. All of the dishes are excellent, and more than half leave you gasping with wonder.

Posted by: seanmcarroll | February 23, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Eh, doesn't do it for me -- just cannot tell on a video how much is show vs. flavor. And the whole "eating off the tablecloth" thing is a little skeevy.

Posted by: laura33 | February 23, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Funny, because it's just about the one restaurant I'm not interested in eating at. I have a "big" (meaning not-to-be-mentioned) birthday coming up, and when I discovered my husband had some plans cooked up, I had an awful fear that it might have to do with an evening at Alinea. I told him that I would be absolutely opposed to such a plan, so don't even think about it. I have no interest in having Mr. Wizard hover over my table while I try to figure out how to ingest a science experiment, no matter how tasty. It just seems too precious by half. I know the skeptical have been converted, and I appreciate Grant Achatz's artistry. It's just really not for me, on ideological grounds. Not to mention the cost. But I'll let you know if they drag me there anyway.

Posted by: JJenkins2 | February 23, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

1. What was the frozen thing? I couldn't make it out in the audio.

2. Bah humbug. Ezra, you actually spend time thinking about going to this restaurant? That's hours of your life wasted, time you could have spent reading a CBO report while eating refried beans out of the can. Come to your senses, man!

Posted by: JonathanTE | February 23, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Huh. Seems like it would be kind of a pain in the @ss to actually eat.

Posted by: JEinATL | February 23, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I know your intentions were good when you decided to share this with us, but

It made me uncomfortable to watch ...

... the same uncomfortable I feel watching conspicuous consumption anywhere ...

... can't help it, my mind immediately goes to "how many starving children could be fed with the price of this one dessert?" and I miss the point (creativity, food art) entirely.

Posted by: onewing1 | February 23, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I ate at Alinea in late December and was served this dish for dessert. It is a combination of chocolate, mint and coconut in several different forms--frozen, semi-frozen and liquid. As explained by the sous Chef (Achatz did not come to our table), the idea is to serve a dish free of the confines of place and table settings, making the whole table a canvass. It was brilliant, playful and quite tasty. I hope he enjoyed eating it as much as I did.

What amazes me about this video is the complete and total lack of emotion--delight or disgust--on the face of the diner. I was absolutely thrilled watching this unfold in front of me, and it's hard to understand how one could sit there stone faced throughout such a spectacle.

Posted by: Neil7 | February 23, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Yes, conspicuous consumption. The price of a meal there is close to 300 dollars. It is a favorite restaurant of eugenicist-in-chief and high liver Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who has written about such disparate subjects as his gourmandise, and the rationing of medical care such that those who are not on track to be "fully participating citizens" should not necessarily be guaranteed healthcare.

Posted by: truck1 | February 23, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Eating off a restaurant table? This is something I'd want to do why?

Posted by: Sophomore | February 24, 2010 3:56 AM | Report abuse

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