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If you want to feel like you’ve secured tickets for the last rocket ship leaving Earth, consider making a reservation at Next. This place is owned by the Alinea folks, but unlike Alinea, Next has three different themed tasting meals every year (e.g. Ancient Rome, Hollywood, and Alinea 2005-2010, because why not). Tickets tend to sell out as soon as they’re released. You’ll experience molecular theatrics similar to those at Alinea, but not as many, and a meal here starts at around $200.
Next is the Alinea team’s second spot, and while a meal here isn’t as long or expensive an experience as eating at the mothership, this still isn’t a normal restaurant. You have to buy tickets to one of each year’s special themed tasting menus (there are usually three or four). Recent menus have ranged from “Silk & Spice” to “Hollywood” and the “World’s 50 Best.” Do a bit of research and plan a night around whichever theme sounds best to you.
The beauty of Next is that the menu changes a few different times a year, and the menu heavily dictates what to expect from both the ambience and style of the place as a whole. Past menus have ranged from Vegan to Modern Chinese to Chicago Steakhouse to “Childhood” to even a tribute to The French Laundry. Each version will be different, but you can always count on an interactive experience with the staff and kitchen. If there’s a particular theme and menu that catches your eye, we encourage you to go for it.
Food: Varies depending on menu. Expect~$200+ (plus tax & 20% service charge)
Optional Wine Pairing: Varies depending menu. Expect ~$200