After our first visit to Next, we wandered a block or so to Vera; we didn't need anything more to eat or drink, but we needed a relaxed, totally concept-free place to decompress a little after the experience and sort it out in our heads. (Also, since it was the Childhood menu, we wanted a taste of something a little more adult, like a glass of sherry.) So what happens when the team in charge of Vera goes to Next? That's the question that Matt Kirouac poses to Mark and Liz Mendez at Spoonfeed after their recent visit to have the Sicily menu. On the one hand, Next and its high-level artifice seems a long way from Vera's straightforward veracity; but on the other hand, if anything Next has done is a kindred spirit to the Mendez's restaurant, it would be the menu of Sicilian home-cooking. So what did they think?
Mark liked the part of Next that is a lot like his own restaurant:
I thought it was great that everything was served family style, it lent a authentic note. We enjoyed everything but one of the standouts was the seafood salad course. They were all really fresh and light but really packed a lot of flavor.
Kind of like the boquerones at Vera... He also found it inspirational to be somewhere where everything is at such a high level:
As a chef when I see that level of execution it is inspiring. For the past few days I have talked about with my staff. I think Next has set such a high standard that even though we are a totally different restaurant, we need to up our game if we are going to be neighbors.
Check it all out, including Liz's reaction. [Spoonfeed]