Time To Celebrate Movies – In A Delicious Way!
Yes, a dish that pays homage to the “yellow brick road” in “The Wizard Of Oz”, and how about a cannoli from “The Godfather?”
Welcome To Hollywood’s Glorious Past – Thanks To NEXT Restaurant In Chicago!
NEXT restaurant is the brainchild of Acclaimed Chefs Grant Achatz, Jenner Tomaska and Ed Tinoco…three times a year, a brand new menu full of imagination and inspiration is served in this great Chicago restaurant – and this week, they unveiled “Next Restaurant Presents Hollywood!”
Here is the trailer they released to promote the menu – done with a classic Hollywood style:
That’s me outside the restaurant – a cheap selfie to get us going!
When you enter the restaurant, there is a red carpet that takes you to your table – where in true “Hollywood” style, a “screenplay” from Chefs Grant Achatz and Jenner Tomaska awaits:
The menu is presented as a long list of movies, with no mention of the food for each – but don’t worry, this is so the magic isn’t ruined – a more complete list of items is given to you at the end of the night…
Now, onto the food! It’s impossible to give a detailed account of all of the courses – there are simply too many – but here are some highlights:
“Gone With The Wind!”
Right away, a film canister is presented – with a caviar bite that has the word “DAMN” on it – because “Gone With The Wind” was the first movie that was allowed to use that “dirty” word! It’s served with champagne and is a perfect way to start the night!
A series of items inspired by “The Breakfast Club” are next – bites of bento and mini-sandwiches like this one:
“What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate!”
This iconic line is from “Cool Hand Luke”, a film where Paul Newman attempts to eat fifty hard-boiled eggs – here at Next, they just give you one – an egg with an “edible” shell filled with trout roe, kiwi, young coconut and turnip!
Here is how you “crack open” your dish:
As you can see, each dish is an elaborate presentation, but remember, they are all small bites – so while they are full of incredible flavor – you can make it through all 17 bites without getting too full!
“We’re Off To See The Wizard!”
Next up is a fave bean and romanesco salad, with a golden raisin “yellow brick road” – and in another meticulous attention to detail, the napkin under the plate is made from the same fabric as Dorothy’s dress!
Time To Head Underwater!
Next up is a celebration of the classic adventure “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea” – a dish of Octopus and Scallop, presented this way:
The octopus and scallop were smoky good – as you can see!
Science fiction is next, presented three ways: first, you get frog with ethiopian spices and yellow split pea – served on a “Star Wars” blaster:
You are also served a “Jurassic Park” boneyard, with a small Jamon, Madiera and Brioche bite:
Finally, you get served a luminous bowl with chopsticks perched atop it – with noodles, duck and pickled ginger – an homage to “Blade Runner”!
“Leave The Gun – Take The Cannoli!”
The greatest film of all time is next.
According to movie legend, Actor Richard Castellano, who played “Clemenza” in “The Godfather”, ad-libbed this line while filming the scene where a driver is killed for setting up Don Corleone for an assassination attempt.
I enjoyed this amazing meal with my wife, Alex. She is eagerly awaiting the description of our “Godfather” meal. A box is set in front of you – and inside is a savory cannoli – topped with a small “salad” of micro greens:
Just as in the film, you eat the cannoli but leave the fun – because after you take a bite, this is what sits underneath your food:
Yes, “leave the gun, take the cannoli!” Clemenza also cooked in the film – a massive pot of meatballs. See Clemenza’s recipe – that you can make at home – here:
For their celebration of horror, NEXT presents you with a sliced smoked pork neck – but then so much more:
Of course, they have a very unique way to finish off this “horrific” dish – here is a video showing how I added the “horror sauce” to the dish:
The Pulp Fiction “Big Kahuna” Burger!
This Bulgogi wagyu beef presentation is inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s “Big Kahuna Burger” – shown in “Pulp Fiction” but a fictional burger! To see how they re-imagined it, check out the presentation on my video, where our server describes the dish!
The onion ring finishes it off on a high note…we still have several other dishes to go – including a fun homage to “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids!”
Yes, a magnifying glass is brought to the table and a bite of foie gras with chamomile and sunflower is set underneath – a terrific bite to end the savory courses!
Desserts are an homage to Marie Antoinette and Forrest Gump”, because “life is like a box of….”
I had to skip a few of the courses – there was just too much to explain! Once again, Chefs Grant Achatz, Jenner Tomaska and Ed Tinoco presented an amazingly creative ode to film – bravo!
This is just the latest culinary magic from the team at Next – I was there in January when they highlighted the cuisine of Ancient Rome:
Yes they enjoyed Shrimp in ancient times, and this one, with crushed pistachio coating, was a gorgeous looking dish that was delicious as well…see more of my visit here:
Chef Achte also runs Chicago’s 3-Michelin starred Alinea, which offers up an edible helium balloon as a dessert:
Take a look at their amazing culinary magic here:
The Hollywood menu runs into August, so if you are in Chicago, make sure to go down this delicious yellow brick road!
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