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The World’s 50 Best Restaurants: Chicago’s Alinea Cracks Top 10

The kitchen at Alinea. (Credit: Alinea)

The kitchen at Alinea. (Credit: Alinea)

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By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — One of Chicago’s most highly acclaimed restaurants has been named one of the 10 best fine dining destinations in the world.

Grant Achatz’s Alinea ranked No. 9 in the The 2014 San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards, which are seen as Oscars of fine dining.

Achatz opened Alinea, 1723 North Halsted in Lincoln Park, in 2005 and has been compiling awards and recognition ever since.

His avant-garde cuisine has been described as “astonishing” and a “mind-blowing journey.”

His tasting menus often consist of more than a dozen courses.

He once created an edible balloon made from a dried green apple, filled with helium.

The current 18-course tasting menu includes: king crab with passion fruit, heart of palm and allspice; woolly pig with fennel, orange and squid; lamb with ???? …!!!! (apparently it’s a surprise); the balloon and more.

Pricing for the tasting menu will vary between $210 and $265 per person depending on the day of the week.

The restaurant is so popular that it doesn’t take reservations over the phone. Rather, patrons buy tickets for a reservation two to three months in advance.

Alinea will sometimes make tables available on the day of service, and the best way to snag those is to follow them on Twitter.