Grant Achatz to open new restaurant and bar

Award-winning Chicago chef-restaurateur Grant Achatz has gone public with his plans to open two new projects this year: Next Restaurant, which will highlight "great moments in culinary history -- or the future," and The Aviary, "a cocktail bar redefined."

Achatz, whose top-rated Alinea just turned five, made the announcement via Twitter, which links to a website, http://nextrestaurant.com. The site contains a brief video showing an airplane morphing through time as it circumnavigates the globe. The time-traveling plane arrives at such destinations as "Paris 1912," "Sicily 1949," and Hong Kong 2036." Other culinary destinations will include the Veneto, Tokyo Edo Period and Cajun 1977 in the restaurant's "exploration of world cuisine."

Next's menu is expected to change quarterly. "Our goal each season is to present the best possible menu from each culinary inspiration," the website stated.

Depending on the cuisine, meals will feature five or six courses. Fixed-price menus will range from $40 to $75 per person, based on the menu "and what day and time you are dining." Wine and beverage pairings will start at a $25 supplement.

According to the website, patrons will purchase tickets in advance, rather than make reservations. Ticket prices will cover all charges, including service, and be based on the seating. For example, Saturday at 8 p.m. will cost more than Wednesday at 9:30 p.m., according to the website. Annual subscriptions -- season tickets -- also will be available.

Tickets will be sold on the restaurant's website, and two walk-in tables will be available each evening.

Alinea, which Achatz owns with partner Nick Kokonas, also won two major awards recently. It was presented with the Outstanding Service Award at the James Beard Foundation Awards on Monday night, and last month was named the best restaurant in North America by the World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards in London.

Contact Paul Frumkin at [email protected]