Absolutely incredible - one of the best, if not THE best, meal I have ever had. I assumed I would not LOVE this place, because of my (slight) aversions to molecular gastronomy and multihour, dozen+ course dinners. Alinea won me over big time. First of all the food, while often extremely unique and sometimes bizarre, was always delicious. And their focus on aromas as well as taste (with incredible showmanship around the delivery of the aromas!) was something I have never experienced before and was such a treat (and really did add to the experience). Really just a miraculous meal.
The service was PERFECT. Professional and knowledgable to the utmost, but also relaxed and funny - especially one gentleman named Marlin (I think). He was a true pleasure.
Five stars through and through. I will be back when I am next in Chicago - wild horses couldn't keep me away.