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Next Restaurant and The Aviary



“What’s next?”

I have never dined at a place like this before.  At Grant Achatz’s Next Restaurant in Chicago, I was enjoying my first ever Peruvian cuisine.  It was an exciting experience.  Each course was new and unfamiliar to me.

The novelty and attraction of Next Restaurant is that it is constantly re-inventing itself every three months.  It is a stupidly ambitious idea for a restaurant.  It shouldn’t be possible.  And yet here it is doing exactly that.  The food is incredible.  The service impeccable.  You never know what they will do next.

Click here and you can see the proof in the pudding.  Over the past 24 months, Next has been a Chinese restaurant, a steakhouse, a Japanese restaurant, a vegan restaurant, a Thai restaurant and a Parisian restaurant.  Each season they reinvent themselves.

The night we dined there, it was a South American restaurant.  We had eight courses of Peruvian food.  I would recommend it to you but it has already changed into something entirely different.

Another night in Chicago we went to The Aviary which is another part of the Achatz restaurant empire.  The Aviary specialises in cocktails.  But not just any cocktails.  Cocktails that are served in crazy test tube, science-lab inspired glassware.  Cocktails that light up in flames, are encased in a sphere made of ice and change colour as you drink it.  Drinking at The Aviary lead to one of the most fun nights we had in America.  If you’re in Chicago you owe it to yourself to stop by and have a few.

Here’s a snapshot of the food and drink we enjoyed at Next Restaurant and The Aviary.



Raspadilla – chicha morada, cassia, leche. We were greeted with a tasty sorbet treat upon arrival at Next.


A selection of ceviche dishes, each beautifully plated and wildly different in flavour


The gorgeous and flavoursome panchanaca dish. My favourite course of the night!


Our night at Next Restaurant was a pleasantly casual dining experience. The tables were decorated with colourful Peruvian woollen cloths and the food ranged from artfully plated bowls of ceviche to servings like the photo above which is ostensibly beer and snack food.


Some of the wild concotions one can expect at The Aviary



One of the best surprises of the night at The Aviary was learning that Grant Achatz’ signature dish from Alinea – the Black Truffle Explosion – was available as a side dish to enjoy with the cocktails. It was absolutely divine.


Still images don’t really do the cocktails at The Aviary justice so here’s me drinking a crazy bunch of different concoctions

About Edo

Edo currently lives in Australia where he spends his time playing video games and enjoying his wife's cooking.

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