Couldn't fit this in the original Alinea post, but its supreme Surprise factor bears a mention , so here we go...
After 20 or so courses of the diverse "Tour" menu, and despite the presence of ice cream, cotton candy and assorted other sweets throughout the meal, it was time for the "official" dessert.
Our mahogany table, bare all evening, was covered with a greyish rubber tarp, and bowls of assorted good-looking liquids, globs and chunks were placed alongside the table's edge. As I reached out to grab the contents of one of said bowls, I was chided by a waiter.
"Don't touch it." he said sternly. "Be patient. We'll tell you when you can eat it."
Okay. Here we go with the flow, I guess. After a few minutes of waiting, Grant Achatz himself appeared. Determinedly, he emptied the contents of all bowls onto the table with the flourish of a Jackson Pollock, took out a brown block ("Frozen chocolate mousse," he explained), cracked it into pieces and added it to the mix.
Brandishing three spoons, he bid us adieu by saying:
"You eat it off the table. Dig in."
A child's dream! The literal cherry on top of a cornucopia of Pow! While not precisely Willy Wonkaesque in "You can even eat the dishes," this came very close. We devoured it like juvenile junkies.
But before we did, we took the picture below. For two reasons:
- We wanted an image to remember it by
- It reminded me of this painting (below again) by renowned Canadian abstract painter Jean-Paul Riopelle that I had purchased a week before.