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Here’s the New Menu at Next in 2014

Steak, Chinese food, and nostalgia in equal measure at Next next year.

In the kitchen at Next   Photo: Anna Knott

The crew at Grant Achatz’s ever-changing culinary playground Next announced the three concepts the dining room will be taking on next year.

We got a teaser for what’s up first, back in October, when Achatz tweeted out a photo of Chicago’s November cover story on the city’s best steak houses with the caption “Next. 2014.”

But now we have confirmation next year will start with steaks. Below, quotes from the release Achatz and company sent out earlier today:

January - April 2014

Next: Chicago Steak

We admit it—we have a love / hate relationship with steakhouses. Too often it’s just ‘meat on a plate’ without sauces and a bigger-is-better, size-trumps-all attitude. We love a perfectly cooked, dry-aged cut of beef, marbled, juicy, & delicious. A great lobster thermidor. Perhaps a succulent shrimp cocktail, a silky bisque, simple but perfect vegetables and a few potatoes. Mix in a cocktail to start, a trophy red in the middle, and a digestif with dessert. Big music, big smiles, and a casual satisfying time for conviviality. Perfect night, right? Next: Chicago Steak will marry the simple and delicious with wonderfully sourced ingredients, modern techniques, and an old-world vibe. Expect a party.
Please note: due to the cost of high-quality dry aged beef this menu will be priced slightly higher than previous Next menus.

May - August 2014

Next: Chinese: Modern

What happens when a thousand year-old cuisine collides with the mind-set of culinary innovation? As China goes, so too does our Chinese Modern menu at Next. Noodles, buns, dumplings, seafood, poultry, pork – all the basics could be covered. Chinese cuisine typically favors small portions of each dish but many bites, not unlike many of the menus at Next. But while we honor the ingredients and traditions, we will bring a unique Modernist attitude to this menu. Recognizably Chinese…. recognizably Next. Chinese take-out anyone? You never know…

September - December 2014

Next: Trio, January 20, 2004

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 on January 20, 2004. Documented in their book Life, on the Line, the meal was the start of a conversation between Grant and Nick about building a restaurant. Barely over a year later Alinea opened. A unique retrospective on the nascent ideas that became an identifiable cuisine… as well as a few ‘classics’ that were long ago put on the shelf, this menu will transport diners back to a great time in chef Achatz’ career. But it is hardly a museum piece. The cuisine remains vibrant, startling, and delicious.

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