Enjoying a meal at one of America's best restaurants can be an experience to last a lifetime.
Business Insider recently released its list of the 50 best restaurants in the country. We combined six noteworthy lists compiled by food critics, experts, and diners to come up with a definitive ranking of the best restaurants in America.
Alinea, in Chicago, earned the top spot. Open since 2005 but redesigned in 2016, Alinea has completely rethought the idea of what can be considered a meal. Co-owner and head chef Grant Achatz, along with executive chef Mike Bagale and chef de cuisine Simon Davies, have experimented with avant-garde dishes that showcase their molecular gastronomy skills. Ahead, take a look at the incredibly artful creations being served at the best restaurant in America.
Alinea is one of 14 restaurants in the US that have three Michelin stars.
Salad, red wine vinaigrette
Within the restaurant are three different dining experiences guests can choose from: The Kitchen Table, The Gallery Menu, and The Salon Menu. They are all home to some very inventive dishes, like this prosciutto, passion fruit, and zuta levana creation.
Prosciutto, passion fruit, zuta levana
The Kitchen Table is the most intimate and immersive dining experience at Alinea.
Lamb, caper leaf, grapes, olives
At $385 per person plus service and tax, The Kitchen Table can only seat a group of six.
Rabbit, morels, fiddleheads, sorrel, Redwoods
The Gallery Menu is a multi-sensory, 16- to 18-course menu, and it costs $285 to $345 per person, depending on the day of the week.
The Salon Menu, which is served in this room, is a 10-12 course tasting menu.
The Salon Menu, which is served in this room, is a 10-12 course tasting menu. (Alinea/Facebook)
It costs $175 to $225 per person.
Bookings become available on the 15th of every month, and they can be made two months in advance.
Green almond, sweet, hot, sour, salt
One of Alinea's more famous dishes is this floating dessert, the edible helium balloon. Executive chef Mike Bagale, who created the concoction, told Eater it's a "step forward in cuisine; this is actually something that hasn't been done before." It's made of dehydrated apples, malic acid, and sugar, and it comes with a pin to pop.
The newly renovated Chicago space has been well-received by food critics. Writer Jeff Ruby of Chicago magazine was impressed by the "painted Plexiglas panels" created by local artist Thomas Masters, as well as the "cascading LED chandelier"
Crab, lilac, rhubarb, chervil
Source: Chicago Magazine
While some might consider the new space a reboot of the old Alinea, the restaurant's team has made it clear on their website: "We've always desired to embrace innovation and change as our core identity."
Ice, char roe, pineapple, and passion fruit