Chicago-based chef Grant Achatz of Alinea has always done things a little differently. To announce his latest venture he and business partner Nick Kokonas created a video trailer for the Next Restaurant and a cocktail lounge called Aviary, both of which will open in Chicago this fall. The trailer evokes old fashioned news reels. A map emerges and a first stop, "Paris 1912" is revealed. Just when you start to imagine Achatz's version of classic French cuisine the video darts to a new destination, Hong Kong 2036. Yes, Next will be serving food from the future. A hovercraft takes off from 2036 and turns back into a plane zipping over to Sicily 1949. What on earth is going on here? Then the concept is revealed: four menus per year from great moments in culinary history - or the future.
The trailer ends with the curious message that "tickets (yes, tickets)" will go on sale soon. The NY Times Diners Journal blog resports that anyone who wants to eat at Next will buy their time slot in advance. Prices will be lower for off-peak hours and will vary depending on the menu. Prices will run $45 to $75 for a five- or six-course meal with wine and beverage pairings starting at $25. There will even be season tickets available. No tickets will be required at Aviary, the bar, which will mimic a bit of whatever is happening over at Next with cocktails that resonate with the theme of the moment.