alinea tops gourmet's list // 20 Sep 2006

Congrats to Grant Aschatz and my friend Nick Kokonas of Chicago's Alinea for topping Gourmet's list of the 50 best restaurants in America (via Megnut).

I had the privilege of eating there this summer (eating's not really the right word for it...and I've been called pretentious but I'm not quite pretentious enough to use the verb "to dine"), and enjoyed (again...with Alinea "experienced" is probably the better word) the best meal of my life.  And then the next day Nick and I grabbed lunch and he told the greatest stories about meeting Chef Aschatz, lining up investors, renovating the building[1], marketing the concept, etc. I couldn't be happier for Nick and crew -- they've built something truly amazing in an incredibly short period of time.

[1] If you ever meet Nick, ask him to tell you the story of how he tiled the entryway basement of the restaurant himself in one all-nighter, just to show his contractor that "this is what it means to get shit done."