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In Chicago, Chef Grant Achatz Is Selling Tickets to His New Restaurant

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#31 edsel

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 08:05 AM

In an interview in Timeout Chicago, Achatz talks about upcoming menus at Next:

Grant Achatz talks what's next for Next

Starting in mid-October they'll be doing a menu evoking memories of childhood. They're a bit fuzzy about what that might entail.

The thing with the time, when we do Childhood it’s not Grant Achatz 1982, it’s just childhood. It should resonate even with my parents, there should be something universal they can pull from just as well.


Summer of 2012 will be Sicily. They'll also be doing the French Laundry, October 28, 1996, the day that Achatz started work there. Most exciting to me is a confirmation that the el bulli retrospective is actually going to happen. He had floated that idea in previous interviews, but it looks like it will really happen.

I talked to him [Ferran Adrià] about the idea of doing El Bulli and he was excited. Our idea is to do a course a year for the duration of the restaurant, to show the evolution. He took over in 1987, so there are more than 20 years of creativity and expression there. If we can hone in on one course per year to best exemplify the way that restaurant changed things during that particular year, well, that’s going to be big, and I think it’s very important that he comes in on it so we’re going to make that happen.



#32 olicollett

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 07:50 AM

Bit of a bump here - has anyone had any experience getting tickets here?

I signed up on the website around October/November time as I'm looking at making a trip to Chicago sometime early this year but I've never received an e-mail saying that tickets are on sale :unsure:

#33 KD1191

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 08:49 PM

Follow their Facebook posts for notice on when tickets become available, or try for same-day tickets via same. The alternative is to randomly check the website and hope they've made some tables available (this very thing happened to me this afternoon, but it's a rarity) or try the secondary market.

Edited by KD1191, 07 January 2012 - 08:50 PM.

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#34 Broken English

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 10:54 PM

Follow their Facebook posts for notice on when tickets become available, or try for same-day tickets via same. The alternative is to randomly check the website and hope they've made some tables available (this very thing happened to me this afternoon, but it's a rarity) or try the secondary market.


I was just going to post about their facebook. If I lived in Chicago I could have eaten there quite a bit, I seem to have a knack for being on facebook when they post their updates.
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#35 olicollett

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 12:08 PM

Right, I've got on their facebook, but looks like I have another hurdle... the credit card system!

It doesn't seem to want to accept my credit card as I don't have a valid Zip code. I don't, because obviously I'm over in the UK!

I've tried googling this but is it a problem buying from overseas? I thought it might not be worth the effort trying and just try going to Alinea but now I realised I'm planning to be there in April during the El Bulli season (a restaurant I never got to visit) I figured I HAVE to go!

#36 Holly Moore

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 12:53 PM

The accounting system (Quickbooks) / credit card processor I use will not process overseas credit cards without something in the zip code field. I generally put any zip code in the box and can then process the order. Not sure if this works with Next's system, but doubt you will go to jail for trying.
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#37 olicollett

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 01:20 PM

Cheers Holly, hope that it works!

#38 plunk

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 04:33 PM

I live in Canada and also encountered the zip code problem so I emailed their tickets inquiry people and they said to just enter 00000 for the zip code. They've done the same thing on their end when processing non-US credit cards and the charges do get billed through so I think that's as good a guarantee as you're going to get. Good luck!

#39 edsel

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:09 PM

I thought it might not be worth the effort trying and just try going to Alinea but now I realised I'm planning to be there in April during the El Bulli season (a restaurant I never got to visit) I figured I HAVE to go!


The el bulli season is going to be tough to get tickets for. They're only doing one seating, so tickets will be scarce. A majority of them will go to season ticket buyers - I assume that's not an option for you. They're holding back one reservstion per evening to auction off for charity, so if cost is no object...

#40 olicollett

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:14 PM


I thought it might not be worth the effort trying and just try going to Alinea but now I realised I'm planning to be there in April during the El Bulli season (a restaurant I never got to visit) I figured I HAVE to go!


The el bulli season is going to be tough to get tickets for. They're only doing one seating, so tickets will be scarce. A majority of them will go to season ticket buyers - I assume that's not an option for you. They're holding back one reservstion per evening to auction off for charity, so if cost is no object...


Yeah i've been following the updates on Facebook.

To be honest it's been terribly confusing, it looks like there will be a new booking system as well. I'll just keep my fingers crossed, hopefully I can get a table at Alinea for that weekend anyway, if not otherwise I'll be really upset :(

Advance notice, and to get in first - if anyone ends up with 2 spare Next tickets around Easter time, and you're feeling generous, let me know...!!!!!

#41 kathryn

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 01:40 PM

Don't forget to book Alinea on February 1st if you plan to visit in April. They open the book up for the entire month for April on February 1, at 10am Central time.
"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

#42 olicollett

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:53 AM

Thanks for the reminder, I have indeed got the date in my calendar :)

#43 olicollett

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 12:41 PM

Well, tickets are on sale...

And i'm currently waiting in a queue. I should be able to get some in theory, but I doubt I'll be able to get any on the dates i'm currently planning to go over, so I may end up re-scheduling my trip and re-booking Alinea to fit in!

Fingers crossed, I logged in a few seconds after they opened and was #803 in the wait list out of ~950 packages. A few seconds later the line was back to 2500!

#44 rickangell

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 12:47 PM

I'm 2300 in the list, sad to say. Needing to enter the capcha three times killed my chances. Should anyone be lucky enough to get the season package and want company, my wife and I would be thrilled to join you!

#45 olicollett

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 01:05 PM

Rick - The capcha really annoyed me, I took an extra 5secs or so on it!

#46 olicollett

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 06:11 PM

Wow, I did it. Got tickets for the night before I go to Alinea :shock:

Can't believe it

#47 rickangell

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 05:26 PM

Next followed by Alinea! I've been to both: You're in for two of the best meals ever.

#48 kathryn

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 08:25 PM

Wow, I did it. Got tickets for the night before I go to Alinea :shock:

Can't believe it


Excellent. Don't forget to try a molecular cocktail or two at the Aviary, then you can hit the trifecta.
"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

#49 olicollett

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 02:01 AM


Wow, I did it. Got tickets for the night before I go to Alinea :shock:

Can't believe it


Excellent. Don't forget to try a molecular cocktail or two at the Aviary, then you can hit the trifecta.


Will do! I expect we might end up at the Aviary a few times! Best not go too crazy on the alcohol intake though, coupled with the food I might not be able to get on the flight home :laugh:

#50 kathryn

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 07:42 AM

Nice. I would do Aviary at least once. And then ask if you can get into the Office (downstairs speakeasy) on the 2nd visit.

Try to grab a reservation in advance. I think they are taking them via email 2 weeks in advance now. Any party size, for 6pm, 8pm, or 10pm.
"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

#51 olicollett

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 07:56 AM

Nice. I would do Aviary at least once. And then ask if you can get into the Office (downstairs speakeasy) on the 2nd visit.

Try to grab a reservation in advance. I think they are taking them via email 2 weeks in advance now. Any party size, for 6pm, 8pm, or 10pm.


Thanks Kathryn, we'll be in town for around 5 days so hopefully we'll pop in a few times and they might take pity on us and let us downstairs :smile:

#52 KD1191

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 07:30 PM

They're holding back one reservstion per evening to auction off for charity, so if cost is no object...

Those tables were made available tonight via Dutch Auction, with the starting prices in the $4-5,000 range for a table for 2. 16 of the 73 available tables have already been sold, raising $76,000 for charity.
True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

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#53 olicollett

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 04:09 AM

They're holding back one reservstion per evening to auction off for charity, so if cost is no object...

Those tables were made available tonight via Dutch Auction, with the starting prices in the $4-5,000 range for a table for 2. 16 of the 73 available tables have already been sold, raising $76,000 for charity.


Wow! Great to see :)

#54 edsel

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 01:46 PM

For anyone still hoping to get into the elBulli menu at Next, I can tell you that persistence pays off! A friend scored same-day tickets this weekend. We found out at 1:00 PM Eastern that it was a go for 7:30 Central the same night. Talk about a mad dash from Cleveland to Chicago...

It really is an incredible experience. I never made it to el Bulli, but at least I got to enjoy the retrospective at Next.



Posted Image

#55 bmdaniel

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 03:35 PM

I made it to both, and enjoyed the Next version substantially more (but I think we had a bit of a "lemon" at El Bulli).

#56 olicollett

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:07 PM

Wow. Only a few days til I go, slightly excited...

#57 olicollett

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:46 AM

Well, that was epic. Pics/report to follow...

#58 Mjx

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 11:01 AM

For anyone still hoping to get into the elBulli menu at Next, I can tell you that persistence pays off! A friend scored same-day tickets this weekend. We found out at 1:00 PM Eastern that it was a go for 7:30 Central the same night. Talk about a mad dash from Cleveland to Chicago...

It really is an incredible experience. I never made it to el Bulli, but at least I got to enjoy the retrospective at Next.



Posted Image


What on earth is that?! I'm fascinated...

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#59 bmdaniel

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 11:32 AM

Frozen blue cheese sphere. Very blue cheesey.

At El Bulli I had a coconut version which was inedible.

Edited by bmdaniel, 13 April 2012 - 11:32 AM.


#60 olicollett

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 02:30 PM

Yes it was cheesy indeed! My friend who was eating with me is not a fan of blue cheese and struggled!





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