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    Post #1 - November 12th, 2019, 3:49 pm
    Post #1 - November 12th, 2019, 3:49 pm Post #1 - November 12th, 2019, 3:49 pm
    The lineup for 2020 has been announced:

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/c ... story.html

    Tokyo, Mexico City & Fat Duck.
  • Post #2 - November 13th, 2019, 8:42 am
    Post #2 - November 13th, 2019, 8:42 am Post #2 - November 13th, 2019, 8:42 am
    I had written off Next but the Jose Andres meal at Next renewed my faith, I am seriously thinking of tickets for 2020.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #3 - November 13th, 2019, 10:20 am
    Post #3 - November 13th, 2019, 10:20 am Post #3 - November 13th, 2019, 10:20 am
    Sweet Willie wrote:I had written off Next but the Jose Andres meal at Next renewed my faith, I am seriously thinking of tickets for 2020.


    I can imagine that a Jose Andres inspired meal would've been pretty incredible. I've only been to Next once, in the very early days, and have also not been inclined to return. Fat Duck, however, has piqued my interest. I will probably try to score some of the tickets at the lower end of the price range.
  • Post #4 - November 13th, 2019, 3:57 pm
    Post #4 - November 13th, 2019, 3:57 pm Post #4 - November 13th, 2019, 3:57 pm
    I gave up my subscription about 5 years ago, but I did enjoy Kyoto so much that Tokyo has me interested.
  • Post #5 - August 28th, 2020, 11:33 am
    Post #5 - August 28th, 2020, 11:33 am Post #5 - August 28th, 2020, 11:33 am
    All -

    Curious to see if anyone has been to Mexico City at Next.

    Did some searching and went back a couple pages of posts but did not see anything.

    If you did go - did you do the patio or inside?

    Curious!
  • Post #6 - August 28th, 2020, 2:38 pm
    Post #6 - August 28th, 2020, 2:38 pm Post #6 - August 28th, 2020, 2:38 pm
    We did Mexico City recently, inside. The dining room had the best social distancing I've seen. There are maybe 8 4-tops, all of which were occupied by pairs when we were there. Other tables were strategically placed between the occupied tables with centerpieces and other decorations to create an elevated sense of privacy in what is usually a pretty crowded feeling room.

    The menu was good, but not the best we've had at Next. It was a pretty big meal, so we regretted getting the up-charge fish because the menu became too big to finish. We eventually thought that maybe an over reliance on masa might have made the menu a little monotonous. Still, I have never really regretted a meal at Next, so I do recommend Mexico City. It might be "average" for Next, but is still a very good meal by any rational measure.
  • Post #7 - September 2nd, 2020, 5:47 pm
    Post #7 - September 2nd, 2020, 5:47 pm Post #7 - September 2nd, 2020, 5:47 pm
    jpeac2 - we did the patio at the beginning of their menu back in mid July. They did a great job with social distancing on the patio and we never felt there was any risk - the only risk really was that our patio umbrella probably would not have sufficiently covered our table had it rained. We in fact asked them what they do when it rains - they mentioned that they can sometimes configure the tables to be further under the awning and due to the seating times most of the patio tables aren't occupied at the exact same time.

    The menu itself was up there for me - I've been to almost all of their menus with the exception of their 2018 menus (wasn't feeling French Nouvelle or Alinea revisited). There was lots of elevated street food but my favorite bite was a tostado with beef tartare and caviar - the first bite of the meal. As kateem notes, it's a big menu, and when we went, we weren't given the option of a fish upgrade based on their menu at the time, nor would we have needed one. We were still in the savory courses when my party and I noted to each other we were quite full, and there were probably still 3-4 courses including dessert remaining to go.

    Note though that I know their menu changes through the iteration based on what's seasonal and what the chefs are experimenting with, so Mexico City in July is almost certainly different than Mexico City in September.

    Enjoy!
  • Post #8 - September 3rd, 2020, 8:47 pm
    Post #8 - September 3rd, 2020, 8:47 pm Post #8 - September 3rd, 2020, 8:47 pm
    bluepig wrote:jpeac2 - we did the patio at the beginning of their menu back in mid July. They did a great job with social distancing on the patio and we never felt there was any risk - the only risk really was that our patio umbrella probably would not have sufficiently covered our table had it rained. We in fact asked them what they do when it rains - they mentioned that they can sometimes configure the tables to be further under the awning and due to the seating times most of the patio tables aren't occupied at the exact same time.


    Ha! I ate on the patio during a torrential downpour. Periodically someone on the staff came out with a pole they used to push up the awnings and empty them of water that was pooling, and periodically we scooted our table further from the street to stay dry during what was a deluge.

    All worked well for us but not as well for the people at the table closest to us, which was under a separate awning. Apparently their awnings are electric, and automatically retract when too much weight (rain or snow) accumulates. And automatically retract it did. The people jumped from the table in time, but I'm not sure what happened to their food or drink.

    In Next's defense, they were being very proactive about keeping water from pooling, but it was a crazy heavy rain storm that didn't let up for the duration of our dinner.
  • Post #9 - September 15th, 2020, 2:04 pm
    Post #9 - September 15th, 2020, 2:04 pm Post #9 - September 15th, 2020, 2:04 pm
    I recently had dinner at Next for the Mexico City menu on their patio. The meal was pretty delicious. The amount of food is a lot if you haven't had a tasting menu in a long time. The non alcoholic beverage pairing was good and a nice break from alcohol.
    "People are too busy in these times to care about good food. We used to spend months working over a bonne-femme sauce, trying to determine just the right proportions of paprika and fresh forest mushrooms to use." -Karoly Gundel, Blue Trout and Black Truffles: The Peregrinations of an Epicure, Joseph Wechsberg, 1954.
  • Post #10 - October 9th, 2020, 4:16 pm
    Post #10 - October 9th, 2020, 4:16 pm Post #10 - October 9th, 2020, 4:16 pm
    Next, nearing its tenth anniversary, is clearly on autopilot--your results definitely may vary. Case in point: the first two menus this year. The Tokyo set was a bit like registering for a 400-level course but getting a 101 intro class instead: the theme promised "What's new in Tokyo" but instead functioned as a broad and very introductory survey of Japanese culinary idioms, including individual tempura, sushi, yakitori, okonomiyaki, and wagyu (nonsensically deep fried) courses. Mexico City functioned similarly. By the virtue of the food being merely good, both were massive disappointments.

    But the restaurant can still be a very good cover band when it wants to be, and The Fat Duck menu is no exception. Billed as a survey of Heston Blumenthal's most significant dishes between 1999 and 2007, the menu balances nicely between greatest hits and novelties (see: whisky gummies as petit fours), with one notable exception: no "mandarin orange" served (though I suspect it will be on the menu later in the period). Other than a dish or two that felt straight out of Trio circa 2001--a salmon dish with a licorice sauce and dabs of this and that comes to mind--the playfulness of the dishes was matched by their tastiness; there are a few mindblowers, too, including the "Forest Floor" course--with truffle on rye and a foie gras-chicken liver parfait that was licking the most delicious dirt and moss--and the scrambled eggs ice cream dessert course. Also: dude was an underrated deep fryer. The nibbles of fried sauce gribiche, fried sweetbreads, and fried bone marrow were among the best of the evening.

    To be sure, I went to this iteration of Next with the sole purpose of trying dishes I've long read about and figured I'd never have another opportunity to try; the menu satisfied that aim. So far as experience and not innovation is your goal, I'd say this is the one Next menu this year to try.

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