by Whet Moser
The chefs at Alinea are prepping a venison addition to their menu, which arrives Wednesday. Over at Alinea's Mosaic message board, they gave a little peek at the inspiration and the sort of Proustian aesthetic detail that they go in to (via @Gachatz):
"During the recent menu meetings we identified the fireplace as a seasonal association with winter. So what does a fireplace smell like? The smokiness of a campfire is a summer aroma, and the burning of leaves, fall. The fireplace has a cleaner smell without smoke. We char the logs heavily on the flat top and remove the charred bits and sand them down to create a presentation surface."