Hi kids. Sorry for being MIA the past couple weeks. It's been busy busy. Awhile back my sister and I got to go to the long-awaited : Next. As you know from previous posts that Next has a unique ticketing system new to the restaurant world. Achatz has truly created a frenzy as you can see from their Facebook page. If you are hoping to get tickets the Paris season is almost over so check out their page for same-day updates. They don't come cheap. But are cheaper than Alinea. Enjoy the pictures and then we can discuss.
So I'll let you peruse the many, and I mean many sites reviewing the menu. This is merely a review in photos and a few words on my perspective of Next. I have not had the pleasure of dining at Alinea but I have heard they are incomparable. I liked Next. But to me Next was kind of like Prom. The anticipation of the night itself brews and bubbles as I did in waiting. And unfortunately I let myself down. The restaurant didn't let me down, but I expected far too much.
I really feel like I was swept away by marketing. Darn it! I'm a sucker for the new, the unique, the "next" best thing. But alas, I got to step inside the elusive doors.. the minimal decor and the multitude of staff at my disposal. It did feel special.My sister, unlike me, isn't a fool for magical food. She just plain LOVES to eat. She was certainly not swept away. And was quick to point out that the decor reminded her of star trek. And onto the food... Am I not dignified enough for French food? Am I the only person in the world of food that is not praising the entirety of Next?? The dishes: some lovely, some not to my liking. For instance: poached cucumber? think warmish half-soft cucumber. Or the chicken which sat by it's side, yes it was what chicken is meant to taste like but so unappealing just sitting there in it's diamond encasing of butter. The salad, oh man. This microscopic salad drenched - and I mean drenched with mayo was almost revolting. Is this what French food is like? I don't know I'm a street-food-girl and not fine china and fold your napkins accordingly-kind-of-girl.
I digress, there were some amazing dishes. The duck. My mouth waters thinking about it. It was exquisite. Wonderfully cooked: crispy on the outside and perfect in the middle. And when another (yet another staff) brought out more of the duck press sauce I almost cried. Would it have been inappropriate to ask for a doggy bag? Clearly I am not as dignified as I would hope.
So here you have it. Next was my disappointment, not theirs. You might love it and I hope you do get to try it but just keep your expectations grounded. Just because you hit the refresh button on their homepage the 1,000th time and got yourself tickets doesn't mean you've won the lottery. It's just another dinner, surrounded by madness.