On Sunday night, Eater had the opportunity to attend a preview dinner at Grant Achatz's new restaurant, Next, which is set to open this Wednesday, April 6. As we entered the intimate and modern industrial chic dining room with its beamed ceiling meant to mimic the inside of an old train station, friends and family of Achatz and his business partner, Nick Kokonas, were seated throughout. Some were investors in Alinea; one was a big Hollywood producer; another a gallery owner; others were simply longtime supporters.
As we were seated, we were handed a playbill explaining Next's first incarnation: Paris, 1906—Escoffier at the Ritz, which will last for three months before the, well, next Thai-inspired menu appears. But this meal was meticulously planned by Achatz and Dave Beran, who is running the Next kitchen, and inspired by the recipes of Auguste Escoffier, who along with Cesar Ritz, opened the Hôtel Ritz Paris.
All in all, we enjoyed nine courses starting with a plate featuring five small bites and ending with another plate of five mignardises. In between, the menu featured turtle soup, filet of sole, chicken, duck and more, with each course thoughtfully paired with wine from various French regions.
We're not sure exactly when the reservation system for Next will open up and when those emails will start getting sent out. Until they do, and until you get the chance to dine at Next, take a look at the above photo gallery and peruse the menu below.
· Hors d'Oeuvres: truffled egg custard with salted cod served in an egg shell; quail egg with anchovy; pork rillette; foie gras torchon in brioche; rabbit boudin blanc; and mushroom duxcelle stuffed leek
· Potage a la Tortue Claire (Turtle consomme)
· Fillet de Sole Daumont (filet of sole accompanied by crawfish mousse)
· Supremes de Poussin (poached chicken with cucumber)
· Caneton Rouennais a la Presse (beautifully roasted and pressed duck served with a reduction of red wine, brandy and duck jus) paired with Gratin de Pommes de Terre a la Dauphinoise (gratin of potato)
· Salade Irma (a light palate cleansing plate of greens topped with an edible flower)
· Bombe Ceylan (dessert incorporating coffee, rum and cocoa)
· Mignardises (five bites of varying sweets, including salted caramel and jellied, sugary beet)