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Next Announces 2015 Menus

By Melissa McEwen in Food on Dec 2, 2014 7:00PM

Next Restaurant has announced their 2015 season of menus and it seems they've gone Normcore—bistro, tapas, and "Terroir", a wine-focused menu. Get out your North Face because it reads like the special events calendar for a wine bar in Highland Park.

Remember when Next did menus you couldn't get anywhere else? That evoked times and places long past? Or unique concepts that you normally might not find at a fine-dining restaurant? Those days are over. And that's kind of sad, but the last menu is interesting in its own way. Recently Tom MacDonald, owner of Webster's Wine Bar, left a comment on our piece about wine in restaurant reviews "Chicagoans are an extremely trendy bunch, following en masse the latest craze, which currently is focused on cocktails and beer. " A menu focused on wine goes against that grain even if it sounds staid, especially since Next in the past has been known for non-standard pairings including cocktails and beer.

Also the bistro and tapas menus are much more affordable than most of the meals in the last two of the restaurants seasons, which reached $1000+ for two for the Trio menu. Bistro and tapas will be $70-$120 a person, a relative bargain. But these aren't genres of cuisine that are difficult to find done really well in Chicago already at similar or lower prices.