After months of teasing and planning, Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas' Michelin three-star Chicago temple of gastronomy will begin serving February 17 at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach (3201 Collins Ave.) within developer Alan Faena's burgeoning arts district.
Tickets will go on sale December 2 at 11 a.m. An 18-course (give or take) menu will "look to the culture, the produce of South America, of everything that’s going on in that part of the world and do the Alinea version," Kokonas tells New Times. Reservations will be offered for parties of two, four, or six. The regular menu will go for $275 to $385 per person based on the time of the week. It's the same system Alinea uses at its home base in Chicago. An early Wednesday night dinner, for example, will be cheaper than primetime Saturday night. Seats will be offered Wednesday through Sunday nights from 6 to 10:45 p.m.
Wine pairings will be offered for $150, $275, or $495 per person, with the priciest being plucked from the special wine cellar being built at the Faena.
If this one has you salivating, cue up your browser for December 2 at 11 a.m. Kokonas said they've already received requests from clients all over the world eager to taste what Achatz can pull off in Miami. There have also been requests for restaurants buyouts. Kokonas wouldn't say whether it's any of the hedge funders scooping up Faena's million-dollar condos, but that's where the smart money is going.
The pop-up comes on the heels of Alinea's tenth anniversary when Kokonas and Achatz decided to temporarily shutter the Chicago restaurant to give it a full overhaul. "At some point you turn into your grandparents' living room," Kokonas said. As the restaurant is torn up, all 42 of Alinea's employees will be moved to Madrid for a monthlong pop-up before relocating to Miami for the Faena project.
Another of the world's most iconic restaurant's, Rene Redzepi's Noma in Copenhagen, uprooted itself earlier this year and re-emerged inside Tokyo's Mandarin Oriental.
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Back in Miami, it seems we have the white-suited Argentine developer Alan Faena to thank for luring Alinea here. They called Kokonas nearly a year ago hoping to get some sliver of his restaurant's culinary intrigue here for the opening. "They expected me to say there's no way we’re going to go and do this in Miami for two days when you could choose Paris or London or New York," Kokonas says.
But when he and Achatz found out they'd be able to take over a nearly untarnished dining room and kitchen, the deal almost sealed itself. "We took a leap of faith," Kokonas said.