A caviar bite served during Next's 2013 Bocuse d'Or menu (Brian Cassella / Chicago…)
Next has announced its three new menus for 2014. In addition to a menu inspired by classic Chicago steakhouses, which chef/owner Grant Achatz hinted at on Twitter and was later announced by Food & Wine magazine, other themed menus will be "Chinese: Modern" and "Trio, January 20, 2014."
The announcement included some preliminary details about each. "Next: Chicago Steak will marry the simple and delicious with wonderfully sourced ingredients, modern techniques, and an old-world vibe. Expect a party," read the announcement. It also warned that the menu would be "priced slightly higher than previous Next menus" due to the cost of high-quality beef.
"What happens when a thousand year-old cuisine collides with the mind-set of culinary innovation?" is how the announcement describes the "Chinese: Modern" menu, which will run May through August 2014. Chinese fare staples such as noodles and dumplings are mentioned, though with a modernist edge, certainly nothing will be standard here.
The last menu of the year, "Trio, January 20, 2004" is inspired by a particular place and time, similar to Next's opening menu, which was inspired by Paris in 1906 and recreated iconic dishes of Auguste Escoffier at the Ritz. Trio is the Evanston restaurant where chef Grant Achatz met Nick Kokonas, who dined there with his wife regularly; the two went on to open Alinea in 2005 and Next in 2011.
"Approaching the 10 year Anniversary of Alinea in 2015, our Grand Menu for the year will revisit the Tour de Force Menu that chef Achatz served [at Trio] on January 20, 2004," the announcement read. "Documented in their book Life, on the Line, the meal was the start of a conversation between Grant and Nick about building a restaurant."
For the past two years, Next has sold a limited number of season tickets -- advanced reservations for all three of the year's dinners -- as well as single-night tickets for each menu online at nextrestaurant.com. Same-night reservations are often available through the restaurant's Facebook page and Twitter feed. Ticket release dates for 2014 have not yet been released.
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