The latest review of Next is in, and this is the one we’ve been waiting for. Phil Vettel from the Chicago Tribune gives the latest Grant Achatz project four stars, stating at the very beginning, “I visited Next looking for greatness, and I found it.” Though the restaurant is only a few weeks old, Vettel wrote that Next “hums with the grace and confidence of a veteran.” Gone are the “hyper-modern cooking techniques and textural sleights-of-hand,” which he loved at Alinea. But there are still “echoes of Alinea's precision,” in every dish.
What's most interesting about the review is that he seems to suggest that going to Next is less like going out to eat at a fancy new restaurant, and more like catching a hot new play: “The 7,000 or so diners who manage to experience ‘Paris 1906’ will have bragging rights for a lifetime, akin to theater patrons who saw ‘Bleacher Bums’ at the Organic or Gary Sinise and John Malkovich's ‘True West’ at Steppenwolf.”
Vettel also called the business model “brilliant,” as it corrects “such banes of restaurant existence as no-shows, cancellations and parties of four that materialize as parties of two, or six, are of no consequence when tickets are purchased up front.”
Honestly, we kind of wish he discussed the food more in the review. Surely, there were some dishes he loved more than others. Still, it's a huge honor. This also means that Grant Achatz the only restaurateur in Chicago to have two four-star restaurants. Congrats!
Phil Vettel Reviews Next [Chicago Tribune]