953 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
The brainchild of Alinea’s Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas, Next is an experience in culinary exploration via 12-course tasting menus, in an atmosphere that evolves along with the menus themselves. Every four months, a new menu is released exploring a regional cuisine, genre, culinary concept, or a tribute to some of the world’s best restaurants, and they open with a note from Achatz and Kokonas describing the inspiration and what they hope to achieve and portray through each dish. Past menus have included Paris in 1906, The Hunt, elBulli, Vegan, The French Laundry, and Modern Chinese. The menus are groundbreaking, like the restaurant’s concept itself, with innovative, adventurous dishes adhering to the theme (like a course served in a colorful, plastic lunchbox replete with a tupperware and thermos -- some of its contents including parsnip “pudding,” Wagyu jerky, and a truffled Oreo -- for the Childhood menu). Next is theatrical, which is appropriate, as an evening at Next is a ticketed event. And as with Achatz’s first prix fixe establishment -- if you can score a ticket -- deep pockets required.