May 18th, 2009

Fishy Circumstances

Kalamazoo Sunday

[Rounding out the set from last week...]

Amazingly, and without deliberate planning, celandineb and I managed to overlap at breakfast at the cafeteria every day of K'zoo. After that, I'd hoped I would be able to see the other half of the bookroom. Instead, I packed and, having made it to the book room, played with Alice's harps. It demonstrated how sadly out of practice I am with harp-playing, but was also useful advertising for her merchandise. Perhaps when she's back over in the UK later this year, my competence will be greater.

The last session of the conference, late Sunday morning, was one of the most relevant to my own work. D.J. and I only recently realized (indirectly thanks to my Eastercon talk) that we both work on similar subjects, overlapping on the iconography of time. She'd organized this session, and it included papers on sundials and astrolabes.

And that was it. Walking back to the dorms to meet my parents, they saw me first, recognizing me by my careless photography methods, snapping as I walked down through the woodland to the lake and the bridge. I had three hours and one doughnut with my mother on Mother's Day before they dropped me off at my hotel in Chicago. They headed back to Iowa, I headed out to Alinea, about which more anon.
Feast

Alinea

Location: 1723 N. Halsted, Near North Side, Chicago.

I've been interested in this restaurant since before it opens, which shows the power of community-based advertising. Grant Aschatz, whose restaurant Alinea is, charted the process of opening the restaurant on eGullet, beginning long before it opened its doors. And so, for the past two years or so, I knew that whenever I next made it back to Chicago, I would try to go. I did.

Short version:
Alinea has a minimalist, tasteful, slightly warehousey feel. It offers one of my very favorite ways of eating: large numbers of thought-provoking small bites of high quality. Some delighted, some intrigued, and I'm glad I had all twenty-two dishes of that evening's adventure in food. Highlights included the Hot Potato, Cold Potato soup; the powered A-1 sauce; and the Thyme-Balsamic-Cherry soda.

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