Monday, December 5, 2011

Next: Childhood

 Next: Childhood
December 3rd, 2011
a gift from all of us at Next
roasted peanut, pomegranate, tempura
cocktail of Madeira and Luxarado Maraschino

Chicken Soup
no noodles, a noodle of chicken
carrot onion parsley
Solena, Pinot Gris, Willamette, OR 2010

drawn by a child
 meyer lemon. malt, walleye
 Mac & Cheese
a merry-go-round of garnishes
cheddar, tomato, hot dog
Caparone, Sangovese, Paso Robles, California, 2006
Sarah's Vineyard, Charbono, Santa Clara Valley, CA 2008
Autumn Scene
a walk through a Michigan forest
maitake, polenta, broccoli
McDonald's, Burger King, White
shortrib, ketchup, sesame bun
Ridge Ponzo Vineyard Zinfandel, Russian River Valley, CA 2009

 Lunch Box
nutella snack
wagyu jerky
apple-brandy leather
truffled oreo
homemade funyun
mixed berry drink

 'Foie'sting and Donuts
lick it off the beater!
cider donuts, foie gras, cinnamon
Joseph Phelps, Eisrebe, Napa Valley, CA 2009

Sweet Potato Pie
campfire on your table
sweet potato, marshmallow, bourbon ice cream

Hot Cocoa
With one bite, Chef Beran's avant garde hamburger transported me to a McDonald's in Cedarburg, Wi.  One bite and I was opening my happy meal box and scarfing down a cheeseburger while sitting under a giant plastic tree on a toad stool chair in the kids' section of the restaurant; I was eight years old and it was my favorite place in the whole wide world to eat.

When a truffle and waygu laden Pound Puppies lunch box arrived at the table, I immediately coveted the slick Ziploc bags holding my cookies, jerky, and chips.  My childhood Holly Hobby lunch box was always filled with the more economical  baggies and twist ties. While I never really wanted a Pound Puppy (I was more of a Cabbage Patch Kid kind of girl), I always longed for lunch bags that didn't leave me with a pile of bendy red wires after I ate my cheese and mustard sandwich.  Next seemed to have served up my version of  a perfectly packed lunch, but then again that happy feeling could have been a side effect from the Zinfandel spiked fruit juice I found hiding in a Little Orphan Annie Thermos. 

Before revisiting Childhood, I had not thought about Holly Hobby, toad stool chairs, twist ties, or cheese and mustard sandwiches in years! The experiential memories Next Restaurant delivered with their menu celebrating childhood were almost as delicious as the masterfully prepared dishes they served us on Saturday night. 

A soft peanut butter and jelly explosion
reminded me of serving up a month long series of midnight sandwiches to a three year old Finn.

Smoking logs and earthy mushrooms
hearkened back to high school student council camp outs and beach bonfires.

A savory tartar sauce beach
evoked thoughts of elementary school art rooms full of Tempera paints, Elmer's glue, Popsicle sticks and cotton balls

We devoured bowls of steaming soup so huge that they made us feel little again.
We slurped the not so noodles and picked up the bowl to savor every last drop of broth.
 For one brief moment we behaved like children again.
All evening long we reflected on the minuscule details of our own childhoods.
And we considered how our kids might  look back on theirs.

Next Childhood was, quite simply, cutting edge culinary mastery served with a side of savory memories.
To say thank you for our unforgettable meal we left a box filled with candy cigarettes and Pez on our table.
(Check out our other Next experiences: Paris and Thailand)


Angela said...

Looks like a very fun night! And what an awesome little leave behind. You really do think of everything.

Nubia said...

I'm so so jealous! That menu is so much fun! Looks and sounds like it was a major yummy in your tummy.

Anonymous said...

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