Saturday night we made our annual visit to the molecular gastronomy weirdness that is Moto. We often use a limo service to get to Chicago, because the cost for a town car is about the same as a cab. But every once in a while they run out of town cars, and we get a stretch limo, as was the case last night. It was fun playing with the inscrutable controls and watching a movie on the way.

At Moto we had the 20-course grand tasting menu. It sounds like a lot, but most courses are only a couple of bites or sips, and it takes almost five hours, so you don’t leave feeling stuffed. We also had the matching wine pairing, 14 small samples of wines.

Moto was packed, and they turned the tables of those having the ten-course menu twice. I felt that the service wasn’t quite as fun and the food not quite as consistent as in the past. There were still some wonderful courses, but also a fair number of neat looking but not particularly awe inspiring dishes. The wines seemed better than usual, though, and all of them perfectly matched their courses.

I managed to photograph most of the courses, but forgot a few. Favorites: Pretzel soup, baseball snacks, most of the red meat courses, the banana split and the smores bomb. Big misses: Shrimp and grits, cookie crumbs.

Moto isn’t the sort of place I’d go more than once a year, but if you haven’t tried molecular gastronomy, it’s definitely worth the experience.