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Sure, there’s a fair amount of cockiness to a restaurant that doesn’t even bother to put its name out front. But Alinea, which has been named among the top restaurants in the world, clearly isn’t having many issues drawing diners to its unmarked Lincoln Park digs. Once you step inside, you’ll know where you are by the flames, ice, and foam that make Alinea unlike any place you’ve ever been. Here, Chef Grant Achatz has perfected the art of molecular gastronomy, and the only way to sample it is through the tasting menus, which are priced just as extravagantly, starting at $210.

The menu changes in number of courses and offerings (the current one is 18 courses), but is consistent in its blow-your-mind factor. Take one of the dessert courses that was served at the time this was written: a translucent, floating, apple-flavored balloon that you suck in, only to then talk like Mickey Mouse from the helium. Other highlights have included a dessert that’s literally painted on the table as you watch, taking the form of modern art; leafy branches used as skewers for a goose course; and aromatic pillows that release scents, such as nutmeg, as you dine.

I should note that if you do go to Alinea, you may want to make arrangements for someone to watch your kids. You’d think that would be a given, but there was an uproar recently when a couple brought their 8-month-old baby to the restaurant. The child was actually allowed to stay, mind you, but the couple, who were never named, were completely castigated by media (and, of course, online commenters) for taking their child to dine in a library-quiet restaurant for a meal that, with wine pairings, will run two people more than $700. If you can afford that, you can afford a sitter.

You must purchase a ticket in advance to dine at Alinea and prices change according to the date and time that you plan on dining. It’s best to nab tickets months in advance, to be safe.