As Jews begin celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the new year, on Friday evening, Americans are once again confronted with the reality that COVID-19 will reshape the way we celebrate the 2019 fall/winter holiday season. Three Michelin-starred Alinea has gotten a jump start, as the fancy Lincoln Park restaurant has begun selling Thanksgiving meals on co-founder Nick Kokonas’s reservation platform, Tock.
View this post on Instagram
Celebrate Thanksgiving with a traditional feast from The Alinea Group. We selected a delicious, organic & free-range turkey raised on a small Minnesota farm. The Alinea Turkey. Your Alinea Thanksgiving Feast also includes the classic appetizers and sides you would expect. Relax and let our team do most of the cooking this year. Quantities are limited; reserve your Alinea Thanksgiving today on Tock.
Chef Grant Achatz’s menu features an 8- to 14-pound free-range, organic turkey that customers will need to prepare themselves (with the help of provided cooking instructions plus compound butter, herbs, and spices). The package also includes appetizers like baked brie (pear, caramelized onion chutney, walnut bread) and sides such as green bean casserole and roasted garlic and sage stuffing, along with a pumpkin pie for dessert. Most of these items won’t require preparation, just reheating. Meals range from $325 to $895 based on the side of the party. On the high end, $70 per person for a party of 12 — without alcohol — is in line with the more affordable Alinea takeout options that the restaurant has been offering since the pandemic’s start.
In 2017, Alinea made waves for its clear pumpkin pie that appeared on its fall menu. Kokona and Achatz didn’t immediately respond to whether or not the pie would be part of this year’s Thanksgiving meal.
It wouldn’t be Alinea, however, without a few over-the-top extras for those willing to foot the bill. An additional $395 nets diners a seafood tower with a pound of king crab legs, poached gulf prawns, and oysters on the half shell with accompanying condiments. For a comparably reasonable $245, there’s a 2-ounce serving of Regiis Ova Ossetra caviar and associated garnishes. Wine pairings are also available, with bottle prices ranging from $25 to $225.
Plenty of Chicago establishments are offering Rosh Hashanah takeout and delivery packages this year, perhaps stretching their legs for what they hope will be a bustling season of Thanksgiving and Christmas meals to go. Still, it’s no surprise that Alinea is already thinking turkey in September: the restaurant was an early adopter of a fine dining takeout model back in March, boxing up $35 beef Wellingtons for a long lines of customers in cars just weeks after the pandemic shut down dine-in service across Illinois. The price, combined with Alinea’s reputation and the strangeness of the moment, caught the attention of many Chicagoans — the first batch of carryout meals sold out within five hours.