Dessert as Canvas
You eat 17 courses at Alinea in Chicago, each with its own nuances and surprises, and when you reach dessert, you're simultaneously sad to know your meal has come to and end, and still ready for one last surprise. You get two. A delicious dessert, "Chocolate," artfully plated, on most nights by chef Grant Achatz himself. "I think that coming out to the table for dessert enhances the experience as well, not because I think I’m better at it than my sous chef or anyone else, but because people get a kick out of it," he noted in a recent interview. Blueberry, honey, and peanut are listed on the menu, but something about it just reminds you of a fresh, light Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in the best possible way. And for these reasons this dish made my list of most memorable meals of 2011.