Secret Plots by Chicago’s Alinea and New York’s Eleven Madison Park Now Unveiled

What are those sneaky award-winning restaurants Alinea and Eleven Madison Park (EMP) up to? According to some sleuthing done by Chicago Tribune reporter Kevin Pang, it appears the two eateries have hatched a collaborative plan.

The video shows (below) EMP employees packing up the restaurant and heading to Grand Central, which is followed by the Alinea staff boxing each other up and shipping off the crew to New York. It ends with the tag line, “21st Century Limited,” which, given them going to and arriving in Grand Central, we can only assume refers to the old Twentieth Century Limited passenger train that ran between New York to Chicago. After vague statements by both parties, we finally know what’s going on.

“Two of the country’s most-acclaimed fine-dining restaurants will trade cities and spaces for one week this fall,” said Pang in an article today.“New York’s Eleven Madison Park and Chicago’s Alinea—three Michelin-starred restaurants both—will swap chefs, kitchens and dining rooms, opening in essence pop-up restaurants in each other’s space.”

That means chef Grant Achatz’ Alinea (with him in it!) will occupy EMP in New York starting September 26 until the 30, and Daniel Humm’s team at EMP will do the same in Chicago starting October 10 until the 14. Tickets will be available soon in coming weeks via its Facebook page. Is anyone else as excited and intrigued as I am? Now comes the fight for a seat, but at $495 at EMP, it might not fill up as fast as you think.