Slideshow: The Exquisite Precision of Next’s Kyoto Menu


With the excitement of the Alinea-Eleven Madison Park switch-off, and speculation about the menus for the 2013 season, the last menu of Next’s 2012 season, Kyoto, has been a bit overlooked (relatively speaking for the phenomenally popular restaurant). But dining at it almost exactly midway through its run, we feel not only that it’s one of the more interesting menus, but one that shows Next achieving maturity as a concept, capable of replicating world cuisines faithfully in the spirit but not the letter, via local ingredients that adapt their techniques to the midwest’s seasonal offerings. If Sicily was Next going rustic in one part of the world, this is Next at a level of refinement that demonstrates the affinity between the minimalist precision of Japanese kaiseki dining and the equally painstaking perfectionism of Grant Achatz. There are dish by dish slideshows out there on various food sites, but we’d like to share one that demonstrates our point about the precision and minimalism of the meal— and since tickets pop up regularly on Facebook and Twitter, you still have the chance to go (it ends December 31).