Alinea Announces Valentine’s Rebrand to Cater to Singles: Alonea

LINCOLN PARK — As couples, situationships, throuples and roving polycules head to restaurants around the city to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Chicago’s singles are once again wondering what this romantic holiday has for them. Singles looking for their very own special night out are in luck however, Chicago’s world-famous home of modernist cuisine, Alinea, is opening its doors and revamping its menu to become “Alonea,” Chicago’s first singles-focused dining experience. 

“For some, the barrier to enjoying a night at Alinea is not having someone to share it with,” said Nick Kokonas, co-owner of Alinea. “So we decided to have a new menu and dining experience that celebrates the single life.”


According to Kokonas, “Alonea” will feature a twenty course tasting menu designed by chef Grant Achatz to explore loneliness as a fine dining concept, including smaller portions of Alinea’s already small food, recipes that deconstruct classic single person meals, and bottomless wine.

“We wanted to work with flavors and techniques that evoke eating by yourself,” said Achatz. “A farm-raised chicken, first cooked in a rotisserie, and then reheated in a microwave. A course that’s just as much hummus as you feel like scooping out of a plastic container. Owen, one of our prep cooks, has been single since 2018, and his insights have been invaluable. He eats like shit.”

“Ultimately we want the food to nourish, but that’s it. No pomp, gels or foams. Food that exudes a certain element of ‘who the fuck cares?’”


Alonea also promises a dining experience that will enhance the feeling that you’ll never find someone, but in what Kokonas promises will be a “fun, playful way.” Diners start the meal by being seated at small tables for one, just far enough from each other that cross-table talk would be impossible. They are offered the option to dine devant la TV, and a TV is wheeled out on a cart from the kitchen if they desire.

“Occasionally during your meal, your waiter will change, either by coming to your table and letting you know that the vibe between you just isn’t working, or just disappearing without warning or notice,” boasted Kokonas about Alonea’s world-class service. “Another waiter will eventually come, but you’ll have to text back and forth with them forever to make plans to order something.”

Kokonas and Achatz say they’re both eager to see how diners enjoy the Alonea experience, which they hope will be the first of several conceptual rebrandings throughout the year; including Alohanea, a luau experience; Onlinea, a new streaming service; and O’Linea, which will feature deconstructed corned beef.


Ultimately, though, Kokonas wants Alonea to empower single diners to enjoy haute cuisine on their own terms. 

“By the end of the meal, we hope the diner will have renewed respect for being single and walk away from this experience thinking maybe they’re not the problem, it’s everyone else who sucks. After all, you can afford to eat at Alinea, so fuck ‘em.”

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