Chicago: Next

Next was one of those zany foodie destination you just have to visit in Chicago. It was also one of the toughest reservations to get in the country. Luckily I managed to score one…the things I do for this food blog.

Next - Mejillones Enlatados

Next was the other restaurant Grant Achatz opened in Chicago. Having already had a memorable meal at his other restaurant, the Three Michelin Star Alinea, only days before, we had high hopes for this visit.

Like Alinea, Next was also notorious for its difficulty to secure a reservation, it even made it to Eater.com’s list of Toughest Reservations in the World. Due to my many years of experience with video games, I quickly ninja bought tickets as soon as it was available on their website.

Unlike Alinea, Next generally features a more casual tasting menu. Its menu completely changes every few months and it generally follows a theme. Previous themes include Thailand, Kaiseki, Modern Chinese, and Chicago Steakhouse. On the day of my visit, the theme was Tapas, inspired by the chefs’ visit to Spain.

Entrance.
Next - Entrance

Anchoas y Aceitunas.
Next - Anchoas y Aceitunas

Hongos y Cebolla.
Next - Hongos y Cebolla

Coliflor Asada Con Chorizo y Coca Cardona.
Next - Coliflor Asada Con Chorizo y Coca Cardona

Pulpo y Berenjena.
Next - Pulpo y Berenjena

Mejillones Enlatados.
Next - Mejillones Enlatados

Cerdo y Romesco.
Next - Cerdo y Romesco

Cebollas a la Parrilla.
Next - Cebollas a la Parrilla

Yema de Huevo Frito.
Next -

Brandada Crujiente.
Next - Yema de Huevo Frito

Aceitunas de Albert Adria.
Next -

Pomelo Quemado y Pinones.
Next - Pomelo Quemado y Pinones

Datiles Con Jerez y Chocolate.
Next - Datiles Con Jerez y Chocolate

Esparragos y Sepia.
Next - Esparragos y Sepia

Un Plato de Jamon Iberico de Bellota.
Next - Un Plato de Jamon Iberico de Bellota

Patatas Bravas.
Next - Patatas Bravas

Chuleton Tortilla.
Next - Chuleton Tortilla

Next - Chuleton Tortilla

Next - Chuleton Tortilla

Gambas Con Fresas y Habas, Caramelo de Aceite de Oliva.
Next - Gambas con Fresas y Habas, Caramelo de Aceite de Oliva

Caramelo de Aceite de Oliva.
Next - Caramelo de Aceite de Oliva

Gambas Con Fresas y Habas.
Next - Gambas con Fresas y Habas

Chocolate Con Arandanos y Avellana.
Next - Chocolate con Arandanos y Avellana

Tarta de Queso.
Next - Tarta de Queso

I’ve had tasting menus after tasting menus in the last few days during this US trip, and Next leaned more on the casual side. Its techniques and ingredients were humble and simpler. I do find there were a few forgettable dishes and I question its place on the menu. Maybe I was too ambitious and expecting something out of El Bulli?

But for the dishes that worked, it flavors just shined and dishes such as the Mejillones Enlatados and the Cerdo y Romesco were just eye openers. Paired with the cheery and casual service, this was another foodie night to remember.

Snapshot:

Name: Next
Address: 953 W. Fulton Market Chicago, IL 60607 USA (Map)
Phone: 312.226.0858
Web: website.nextrestaurant.com
Menu: Link
Dishes You Must Try: Mejillones Enlatados, Cerdo y Romesco, Cebollas a la Parrilla, Yema de Huevo Frito, Esparragos y Sepia, Un Plato de Jamon Iberico de Bellota, Chuleton Tortilla
OpenTable Profile: N/A
Next Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Rating: 3.6/5 (out of 136 votes, as of this writing)
Yelp Rating: 4/5 (out of 480 reviews, as of this writing)
Finest Dish’s Quality Rating: 4/5
Finest Dish’s Service Rating: 4.5/5

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