Some of the finest drinks and dishes are now made using molecular gastronomy techniques. Molecular gastronomy started revolutionizing the food and drink industry around 30 years ago and the advancements are amazing. Molecular gastronomy is the application of scientific techniques that change the physical and/or chemical makeup of foods and liquids. These applications make for some of the most creative dishes and drinks around, and also where Vaportini found some inspiration for our infusion recipes.
This is one of the top restaurants in the world, and it is located in Chicago. At the moment they serve around a dozen courses and the meal will last for around 3.5 hours and is $385 per person, gasp. But this isn’t just a meal, it is an experience. The attention to detail, and the prep work that goes into making each dish is time consuming and difficult. Alinea has recently redecorated and the ambience is sophisticated but not pompous, and then there is the wait staff. This is a team that completes everything, in a way that is choreographed. You can almost consider it performance art, and it adds to the experience.
This is one of the newer places on my list opening last year. It is located in Washington DC and they have a base price of $275 per person but most people end up spending much more than this, with different options that are available. Adjacent to Minibar is the cocktail lab with new twists on classic cocktails that invigorate the senses. They are on the cutting edge of what is possible in the culinary world. As you can see from the picture below the presentation is very elaborate and well thought out.
Another Chicago favorite and as a concept is a one of a kind. They boast each drink is made by Mixologists that are as skilled as their Chef counterparts. The base price for 3 courses and food pairings start at $50 per person. Each table has its own bartender that receives the drink order as a chef would so they may concentrate on exactly what they are doing. They have a flair for the theatrical and the drinks are brought to you in very creative ways. They have every piece of specialty ice ever made, as the art of dilution and how the ice melts are key to their drinks.
Degustation in the East Village is essentially a tapas-style restaurant with a focus on whimsical small plates. They are a mixture of Iberian, French, and American cuisine. It is an open air bar and kitchen and they receive all of their food from local markets. The restaurant takes an ingredient-centric approach, weaving bold, standout flavors between dishes that span a global influence. They offer a seven-course tasting menu for $85.