2015 brings in a whole new theme at Next. The first of the season's theme is Bistro, which is Grant Achatz's take on a French Bistro. It is a distance from its usual theme as Bistro takes on an actual restaurant theme from being a tasting menu theme.
To start off the night, we are offered bread from La Boulangerie in Lakeview area. I love the bread as it's crunchy, has a nice texture and can soak up alot of sauces (which is instrumental for later courses)
Oeuf a La Beran - Egg custard with crispy chicken skin and chives
For our first course, we have an egg custard with crispy chicken skin. The custard is smooth, silky, and savory. The chicken skin adds a nice crunch to the dish. Excellent start.
Torchon au Foie Gras - Foie Gras with brioche toast points, huckleberry, murray river salt, and black pepper
The next course is a foie gras torchon. The foie is creamy, smooth and not too salty. The flavor of the foie is able to come across nicely and not overwhelm you.
Tete de Pore en Gelee - pig head terrine with pork aspic, watercress, and cranberry
The terrine is a bit on the lighter side. The best part of this dish is the gelee as it's light and mild but surprisingly flavorful.
Aile De Raie Meuniere Avec des Capres et des choux de Bruxelles - skate wing with capers, brown butter, lemon and brussels sprouts
One of my favorite dish of the night. The skate wings offers a nice crunchiness and exceptional flavor from its flavorful skin. The fish meat is nicely cooked and not flaky. Along with the well seasoned brussels sprouts, the fish dish is definitely a great bite.
Pintade Roti Avec Des Radis Braises et Pommes Anna - Guinea Hen with Thyme, braised radishes, radish tops and pommes anna
Before we were served the guinea hen, we were presented it. The chicken is cooked surperbly as its meat is juicy, tender and delicious. We were also offered a gravy from the hen and it intensify the chicken flavor.
Champignons Sausvages - Wild Mushroom
Carotes Roties - Roasted Carrots
Cassoulet avec des leoulouse - Toulouse style sausage and duck casserole
Our final course is a duck casserole, along with some carrot and mushroom. The casserole is great as it has a really rich flavor of the duck, sausage and all the vegetable cooked with it. This dish feels like I'm eating at someone's home and not at a restaurant. The roasted carrot and mushroom were nice side dishes to go with this casserole.
Baba Au Rhum - Baba Rum
The baba rum is sweet, has a nice cakey texture and as my dining companion mentioned, "boozy". I like the combination of the boozy flavor and cake.
Blood Orange Tart
Our last dessert of the night is a blood orange tart. It carries a nice tart flavor along with the citrus sweet from blood orange. My favorite part is the actual tart as it crunchy and provides a nice base to go along with the blood orange filling.
All in all, I enjoyed Bistro. It's definitely different from a tasting menu of smaller bites. I actually can't finish all the food this time, which is surprising because I usually clean out dishes. It's a nice concept and I think this can be a nice trial run for Grant Achatz's less casual restaurant that will open next to Next.