Grant Achatz’s Revolutionary Next Restaurant
by Jennifer Olvera People are growing comfortable with the idea of buying movie tickets in advance. But will they do the same for fine dining? Chef Grant Achatz is celebrating the fifth anniversary of his world-lauded Alinea. Perhaps as a nod to himself, he’s making what some alternately call a bold or narcissistic move.
This year, he’ll open the simply named Next Restaurant. To enjoy the privilege of visiting, diners will have to purchase advance tickets via its website, nextrestaurant.com. (If you want a sneak peek, that’s also where you can check out his “movie trailer.”)The cost will vary by day of the week and whether or not you choose to dine during prime time hours. The menu will change four times a year, while using 1912 Paris as its muse upon opening. Each time a new set of dishes is offered, they, too, will focus on a respective period and world locale, perhaps Hong Kong—imagined in 2036—Tokyo’s Edo period or San Paulo in 1968. The price point here will be notably more down-to-earth than its predecessor ($45 to $75 for five or six courses, with beverage pairings starting at $25 per person). Because the meal is paid for in advance, there’s no transaction to speak of at the restaurant proper. Beyond that, Achatz will be opening a cocktail bar, called The Aviary, sometime in 2010. In theory, the approach here will be more traditional, though it’s doubtful that offerings—ranging from classic cocktails to mixology madness—will be straight-up.
Keep coming back to GAYOT.com for more about Chicago Culinary Events, Restaurant Reviews, Chicago Wine Dinners and Chicago Restaurant News.Read more about Alinea restaurant.