Alinea — anointed the best restaurant in the country by no less thanGourmet magazine — is a place no serious foodie should miss. Like Homaro Cantu at Moto, Chef Grant Achatz wants to revolutionize the way we eat, which he does by presenting familiar foods in new contexts and unexpected forms. (He’s been known, for example, to serve dishes on lavender-scented pillows, so the floral scent wafts up as you eat.) The menu changes constantly, but you’re guaranteed to taste something new here, whether it’s ravioli with a liquid-truffle filling or bites of bison tenderloin wrapped in crispy potatoes and seasoned with cinnamon. Achatz, who has worked with Spain’s Ferran Adrià (the master of food deconstruction), as well as French Laundry’s Thomas Keller, says he wants diners to feel like they’re taking a journey, “zigzagging between challenge and comfort.” The restaurant itself is certainly comfortable, with shoulder-high chairs you can sink into and soft, flattering lighting sparkling off the sharp angles of the grand staircase. But you’ll only be comfortable dining here if you’re willing to go along for the ride. Eat with an open mind (and a full wallet), and you’ll be well rewarded.