Monday, December 19, 2011

Birthday dinner at Alinea, Chicago

Of course I always remember a great meal, but I even remember the small weeknight dinners with friends, somehow making note of their likes and dislikes so that I can make a special treat for them sometime later. I can't remember what happened last week, but I'll remember what everyone ordered at that dinner two years ago. It's my superpower. I mean, aside from my photography superpowers, that is.

Dining at Alinea offered up quite a challenge to my powers of recollection. I knew there would be over a dozen intricate and complex courses, a bit more than I'd be able to describe later, especially after the wine pairing took effect. Nevertheless, I was determined to have a spotless memory of it, even if it meant being one of those people who point their SLR right down at the plate while dining. Sorry, Alinea. They were really nice about it, even though they probably secretly hated me. Here are the 20 or so things that we ate, drank, scraped, slurped, exploded and gobbled. It was as if they took the entire world of autumn and shrank it down into its most pungent, flavorful elements and then combined the tiny morsels into bites whose flavors and textures would complement each other. Talk about a superpower.