Chicago IL 60607
Only two years after its opening, chef Grant Achatz's groundbreaking restaurant Next seems as if it has always been part of the culinary avant-garde — ironic for a restaurant whose entire prix-fixe concept changes every few months. There's nothing blasé about Next. You never know what's going to be placed before you — it could be chicken liquid croquettes (elBulli menu) or the world’s best mac and cheese (Childhood menu). Well, technically, it will be neither, given that they're from past menus and the menus don't repeat. But you get the idea. Under the helm of chef Dave Beran, Next paid homage to legendary French chef Auguste Escoffier; then it was a futuristic Thai menu; then Childhood; an homage to the now-closed elBulli; explorations of Sicily and Kyoto; and "The Hunt." Next up? The restaurant's first vegan menu, debuting in May, and a menu focusing on the Bocuse d'Or international cooking competition. Whatever it is, the food here is inventive and exciting without being gimmicky and the service flawless without being fawning. But good luck getting in. There's an online reservation system for buying "tickets," but you'll be joining 20,000 (yes, 20,000) other folk just as desperate and committed to scoring a table. If you get into Achatz's next-door cocktail lounge The Aviary (itself no small feat), there's a tiny chance that you might get a late table at Next. Or check Next's Facebook page. Most nights, they hold a table or two and sell them there. The catch? You have to already be in Chicago. -- Arthur Bovino
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Will veggies follow meat at Next?
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Try the Autumn Scene at Next: Childhood from our 100 Best list: This stunning, intriguing, arresting, intricate, beguiling array of shoots and leaves is like a salad we want to live in.
Sample world-class cuisine prepared in the style of pre-WWI Paris. Additionally, the restaurant sells its meals through tickets, which increase in price for busier time slots.
Dave Beran, a five-year Alinea veteran, runs Grant Achatz's newest restaurant venture in Fulton Market as head chef.
Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas deliver subtle surprises at their restaurant’s latest incarnation. Mike Sula reviews Tour of Thailand: http://chicagoreader.com/x/4418407
To dine at Next is not to experience a meal that reaches some objective standard of “greatness.” But it is a rareopportunity to submit oneself to a specific vision of what great dining might look like
From gougere to salmon to leeks, here's a peek at Chef David Beran’s work-in-progress hors d’oeuvres selection.
From the theater-inspired ticketing system which books diners into tasting menus priced according to time, to meals inspired by Escoffier and Ferran Adrià, Next has rewritten the restaurant experience
Coconut desert is amazing!
What's not to like? Concept, Execution, Taste...the experience was all there. Wish I had a tip on how to get tickets on a regular basis... (via Scoville)
"A willingness to play along is essential at Next, and if you can't or won't, you just won't get it." http://chicagoreader.com/x/5101499
Plan far ahead for this tough ticket. Chef Grant Achatz's demiurgic menu centers around the concept of his "Childhood" for its quarterly iteration. A tabletop campfire burns as the courses arrive.
Lived up to the hype, and then some, with Paris 1906. Food magnificent. Does not have a wine list; sommeliers pour preselected wines or other beverages by the glass with each dish.
Kitchen Table experience for the Tour of Thailand was an experience of a lifetime. The perks you get are worth it! Can't wait to see what childhood has in store...
This is where we are going to celebrate after @dtdash is over! Can't wait
Ladies, if you're chilly inside, ask for a pashmina.
Non-alcoholic beverage pairing is perfect for those that can't partake in the wine pairing.
Ticketed, time-traveling concept from culinary tour de force Grant Achatz of Alinea. If you missed the first 1906 Paris menu, you're S.O.L. as the futuristic Thai menu is set to launch July 8.
Caneton Rouennais à la Presse from the Paris Menu
One of the toughest restaurants at which to secure a reservation, but well worth it. Chef Grant Achatz reinvents his menu concept every 3 months to reflect a single place at a single point in time.
Kyoto is amazing
Chef: Grant Achatz
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Grant Achatz of Next started his foodservice career as a CIA student.
If you like to take photos of your food, sit on the chair side, not the booth side. There's better lighting for non-flash photography.
Try the Ninth Course: Soup, Rice, Pickles - My favorite course... (via @Foodspotting)
Do the wine pairings but pace yourself so you can remember course 13-15 :-)
I love that everyone is consumed with #superbowl2012 & I'm consumed with caviar, butter and a lot of wine.
The Hunt took me to a new level of serenity. The closest I'll probably ever get to heaven.