Next || paris 1906
Speculation stated that NEXT Restaurant was going to be the hardest ticket in town to get. I say ticket as you actually have to buy a ticket to this dinner event. Each event, so to speak changes every 12 weeks, when the menu changes to a new theme based on a place and point in time. There is no show [song & dance] other than the food. When you think about it, this concept is a brilliant business model. Sell tickets to a set menu dinner, provide 2 wine paring options and one non-alcoholic option, vary prices for different days and times of the week. With gratuity also included in the ticket purchase, there is limited to no cash handling by staff. The perfect supply & demand model with excellent cash flow. A brilliant idea that I wish was mine.
I registered on the website back in Sept. 2010 eager to follow and be apart of the opening. I didn’t get an email invite on April 6th when they started taking reservations as they promised to the 20,000 or so that registered on the website. Apparently loads of people had issues getting online, I should have also bought a lottery ticket that day, I must have stumbled upon a streak of luck. Our friends [The Snapps’] emailed me earlier in the day asking if I was able to get in, we instantly made an arrangement that first in gets a table for 4, I stuck to my end of the deal and NEXT thing you know May 1st @ 6pm 4 people enter the experience = Paris 1906.
We were taken to the opening days of the Ritz Hotel in Paris and into the kitchen of the ‘godfather’ of french modern cooking Auguste Escoffier . The experience was a ‘visual feast’ as described in the menu card they provided at the commencement of the meal. Everything was so precisely assembled and delicately arranged it was however equally delectable on the palate.
After the silver platter of hors d’oeurvres had been presented to us and devoured, we then stopped to discuss what we had shoveled into our mouths. We were so excited by the beauty and finesse of the presentation we could not contain ourselves. There were plenty of descriptions like ‘creamy’ and ‘beautiful mouth feel’, ‘commendable’, you get the picture. We had all fallen in love with Paris, giddy from the flavors dancing in our mouths, and maybe the effects of the champagne in our heads [this course was paired with ‘Chateau D’Orschrwir Cremant D’Alsace Brut’]. It was during this moment we all made a declaration to each other to turn this into a gathering every three months to sample the NEXT menu.
We moved on to the ‘Potage a’ la Toutue Claire’ [yes turtle soup in simple terms]. I know this was complex to make, but they made it look so effortless and elegant like french food should. At this point I will also point out that the wine pairings are very generous, with the bottle being poured and then left on the table, and there was no frowning upon us when we were poured ourselves some more.
The ‘Filet de Sole Daumont’, this was my favorite dish, in some reviews they thought it was too salty, I though it tasted of the sea. Delicious, and perfect with the wine pairing – the ‘La Rouche Vineuse’.
The surprising part to this course of ‘Supremes de Poussin’ came in the form of a poached cucumber enveloping a light and fluffy chicken preparation, it was pure velvet.
And then there was the duck [absolute perfection on a plate] ‘Caneton Rouennais a’la Presse’ with the ‘Gratin de Pommes de Terre a’la Dauphinoise’ basically meaning a dish of twenty percent [20%] potatoe and you guessed it eighty percent [80%] dairy products.
Now this was also refreshing a salad course [a.k.a. ‘Salade Irma’] after the meat dishes, my preferred order of events.
But wait there is more dessert of course. A ‘Bombe Ceylan’ ending the evening on a sweet bang.
What? MORE? Of course the ‘Mignardises’, and hide the salted caramel for yourself they are best not shared, trade them for the ‘Ramos Pinto’ [10 year tawny port] that came as the final pairing for the evening, and an excellent choice.
In all seriousness, the evening was flawless from each bite to each wine pairing. Decadent and just a wonderful all-round experience. It certainly ranks in our Top 5 dinning experiences of all times. We all look forward to the NEXT time and can’t wait to experience another Sunday Evening adventure with the Snapps’. Also went to ‘Aviary’ read about it here.