Last weekend my husband and I were lucky enough to score two tickets to Next for our anniversary. Next is Grant Achatz’s newest restaurant which changes its concept and menu every quarter and features a revolutionary and frustrating ticketing system rather than taking traditional reservations. The current concept is Childhood, or as the intro on our menu put it, Michigan 1985. The menu, by the way, was just a folded piece of paper describing the inspiration for the Childhood concept so we never knew what was coming. The incredibly well-versed and unaffected waitstaff explained each dish to us as it came out.
The highlight of the evening began when two servers holding old school lunchboxes approached our table. We opened them up and pulled out a thermos full of spiked grape juice, little Ziploc bags and containers full of familiar-looking goodies, a paper towel napkin, and a plastic spoon. The finishing touch was a handwritten note from Mom. In the Ziploc bags we found a truffled Oreo, Waygu beef jerky, a PopChip-type snack that was inspired by Funyuns, vanilla parsnip pudding, and a fruit roll up. The actual food, although great, wasn’t what made this course so awesome. It was the presentation and whimsy and the warm, nostalgic memories it brought back of notes from my mom in my own lunchbox. Every time a procession of servers carrying lunch boxes came through the dining room, diners stopped eating, stared for a moment, and started laughing.
It was so fun to spend an evening in one of the most exciting new restaurants in the country eating childhood favorites like chicken noodle soup and licking cake beaters full of “foie-sting” (yep, exactly what it sounds like). The service was outstanding and as unpretentious as it could possibly be. We’re already excited to go back and experience the ‘Next’ incarnation.
Last weekend my husband and I went up to Three Lakes, Wisconsin to visit our friends Brad and...Continue Reading
I have been fortunate to live in Chicago for the past seven or so years and have only...Continue Reading
It’s no secret that women earn less money than men for doing the same job in virtually every...Continue Reading
In light of the recently-celebrated Mother’s Day, I’ve been thinking a lot about breakfast in bed. I told...Continue Reading
May 4th marked the opening of the outdoor Green City Market in Chicago’s Lincoln Park and that means...Continue Reading
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been excited for the royal wedding between Prince William and Kate...Continue Reading
Thanks to talented and well-known chefs like Ferran Adria, Grant Achatz, and Jose Andres, molecular gastronomy is becoming...Continue Reading
I always associated maple syrup with fall and winter – drizzled on top of steaming oatmeal, glazed over...Continue Reading
Looking for some used Karate Kid VHS tapes? How about a 6-pack of white tube socks or a...Continue Reading
Traveling for work can be a lot of fun – meeting new people, exploring new cities, and sampling...Continue Reading
It seems to me like there’s been a movement toward eating less meat in some way, shape, or...Continue Reading
Baking a cake is one thing, but creating works of art out of sugar, butter, and eggs is...Continue Reading
I said, Beef on Weck. Oh, you’ve never heard of it? Evidently you’ve never been to Buffalo, New...Continue Reading
Although whiskey isn’t my tipple of choice, I do have a fondness for alcoholic beverages of all kinds,...Continue Reading
Recently I wrote about my dim sum experience in Chicago’s Chinatown, the highlight of which was the steamed...Continue Reading