We have been to Alinea three times; in 2008 (four stars), 2011 (five+ stars), and this past weekend (round up to five stars)
Alinea remains off-the-charts for creativity and presentation. Service is exceptional and flawless (i.e. art-of-the-table, would make any French person very happy).
This past visit, while still amazing, fell noticably short of our visit in 2011. What distinguished our 2011 visit as the single best meal we have ever had (we are foodies and regularly seek out top-end restaurants in France and any other place we visit), was that ~75% of the 18 courses tasted amazing. Which for my wife and I is a high batting-average for a high gourmet establishment. While I can appreciate and enjoy high-gourmet food at the end of the day, I find most dishes tend to taste "interesting" as opposed to "amazing". This is where Alinea in 2011 was set apart, in that most of the dishes were not only very creative and exceptionally well presented, but tastes absolutely amazing (i.e. Michelin three+ stars, in my mind).
Based on our visit this past weekend, our meal slipped back closer to the "interesting" tastes as opposed "amazing" tastes, with probably only about one-third of the 17 courses tasting amazing.
Still worth the visit and experience if you are a foody (if not I wouldn't recommend it, however the 2011 would have won over many non-foodies). I hope Alinea returns to the way we experienced it in 2011.
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