Answers from Our Experts (1)
Alinea’s menu incorporates many traditional French ingredients, but a cheese course isn’t one of them. It’s probably best that the menu does away with a heavy cheese plate so that you will have enough of an appetite to tackle the 22 courses that make up the tasting menu. Each course masterfully blends sweet with savory and is designed to overwhelm the palate, as some traditional French cuisine does. After devouring each beautifully arranged, tasty morsel, you’ll find yourself wondering what comes next.
Although it doesn’t offer a cheese course, the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant does finish with dessert. The signature sweet is prepared tableside: A server lays out a gray rubber mat, then the chef drizzles caramel, cream and chocolate sauces over it, sprinkling bits of milk chocolate and peanut butter crumbs on top. Next he breaks a piece of freeze-dried milk chocolate on the table and adds marinated blueberries to the dessert, which looks like a work of abstract art. Then it’s up to you to eat the course off the table, mixing and matching flavors to your liking.