Food News

Alinea Pop-Up Looking for Space in Miami, Madrid

Miami could host a temporary version of Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas' Alinea when the famed Chicago restaurant shutters for remodeling later this year.

"It is something we are exploring," Kokonas wrote in an email to New Times.

The Chicago restaurant will close later this year for about two months for heavy remodeling on the eve of it's tenth anniversary. The theatric, avant-garde restaurant has been a mainstay on The World's 50 Best Restaurants list ranking ninth in 2014 in between San Sebastián's Arzak (eight) and London's The Ledbury.

Kokonas said he and Achatz are "committed to shutting Alinea for eight weeks," giving credence to a report on the San Pellegrino blog that the pair will uproot their kitchen team and possibly relocate them in cities like Madrid or Miami. An January Eater report also posited New York as a potential destination.

"We hope that Miami is one of those places but I really can't say more at this time," Kokonas wrote. The former hedge funder quit trading more than a decade ago to open what was widely celebrated as the heir apparent to Ferran Adria's groundbreaking El Bulli in Roses, Spain. Modernist toque Quique Dacosta, whose modernist restaurant in Denia, Spain boasts three Michelin stars, is also searching for space in Miami

This would be the second prominent kitchen to uproot and move halfway across the world after Danish luminary René Redzepi uprooted his team from Noma in Copenhagen for a recent stint at the Tokyo's Mandarin Oriental. 

The potential move for Alinea, which has yet to sign contracts on pop-up spaces anywhere, would be as much about experimentation as it would be about pushing the restaurant's cuisine beyond Chicago's frigid borders.

"Even in Miami we hope to be inspired by the culture and the ingredients," Kokonas told San Pellegrino's blog.

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Zachary Fagenson became the New Times Broward-Palm Beach restaurant critic in 2012 before taking up the post for Miami in 2014. He also works as a correspondent for Reuters.
Contact: Zachary Fagenson