The First Review of Next Is In

Gratin de Pommes de Terre à la Dauphinoise from Next
Gratin de Pommes de Terre à la Dauphinoise from Next Photo: Nick Kindelsperger

We were wondering when this was going to happen. Chicagoist is the first publication to release a full review of Grant Achatz’s Next, which is less than a week after it opened. Anthony Todd starts the review by declaring that “Next isn’t Alinea,” but that it has “pleasures in store.” The hors d’oeuvres were “tiny, perfectly constructed bites each more beautiful than the last,” the turtle soup had “belly-warming richness,” and even the potatoes served with the duck made him “sit up and beg for more.” Still, he had a few issues with the meal.

After the high of the duck course, he feels like the salad and the desserts are “oddly free of spectacle.” In fact, “the meal seemed to peak a little early,” though he did note that it was less of a “nosedive,” and more of a “safe, cautious return to reality.” He also questioned why the servers placed wine bottles on the table, especially since each course had its own pairing. Still, overall a pretty positive review.

About Next’s first review, Grant Achatz tweeted that he was “happy when we get criticized for generosity. (wine)”

Of course, Next is kind of screwing up all the normal rules for full reviews. Steve Dolinsky immediately took to Twitter and asked, “A comprehensive review after how many nights open? A new record?” But then he seemed to admit that “I think it just raises new issues for those folks in the reviewing business.”

What do you think? Should we demand that reviewers wait a month or two before they review a restaurant that will change so often?

Review: Next [Chicagoist]

The First Review of Next Is In