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Dec 29, 2011 12:55 PM

Question about Next, Alinea and E in Vegas

WE loved E in Vegas. Loved the vibe, small group, lots of conversation. Although we'd love to try Alinea and might have to save up for it, where can you see the menu. We don't like Thai or Vietnemese or Oriental/Eastern ispired flavours but loved E's spanish flavours.

What about NExt? How do I get on their list? I am going to Chicago in the spring and would like to try and get in.

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    Exact comparison you're looking for. I've ate at E and loved it as well but not Alinea. Having stepped in foot the Alinea building however and seeing the table setup it is obviously much more of a traditional dining experience in terms of how tables are set up - not a community type of meal like E.

    1. >> where can you see the menu

      Right where you would expect it to be, on their website:

      I've never heard of E. I've been to some of the top places in Vegas, including Joel Robuchon, Alex, and Guy Savoy. All are excellent, but Alinea is really nothing like them.

      If you enjoy high-end food, Alinea is the experience of a lifetime. They will start taking reservations for March on January 1 or 2, and April on February 1 or thereabouts. Call them the first morning they take reservations for the month you want, and you should be able to get a reservation, no problem.

      As for Next, forget about it unless you feel like wasting a lot of time and hoping you'll get lucky. You need to be on Facebook and watching at the exact moment they release tables, and even then you probably won't land a reservation (tickets). Reservations for the upcoming El Bulli menu are expected to be even more impossible to get than the previous menus - not only because people want it, but because they will only have one seating per night, so the number of people they will be serving is only a fraction of those for their previous menus.

      2 Replies
      1. re: nsxtasy

        é by José Andrés is a new, tasting menu only, 8 seat restaurant, hidden inside of Jaleo, in Las Vegas; similar to the way that minibar was its own "restaurant" inside of Cafe Atlantico in DC.

        As for Next, they have announced next year it will be 3 seasons:

        El Bulli will run Feb 8 to May 27
        Sicily: June 2 through Sept 9
        Kyoto: September 15 through December 31

        Nick has stated that advance tickets for El Bulli will likely be TIED to season tickets; you must purchase all 3 seasons to go to El Bulli because it is a much longer menu than other seasons. Hence the one seating.

        Season tickets will be going on sale in January; nobody knows when. Very few additional details have been announced.

        But they have said that Next will hold 12 same-day seats and 2 seats auctioned-off-for-charity each night of service. With 64 seats in total, there will be 50 seats each night for El Bulli season ticket holders.

        1. re: nsxtasy

          You would love E by Jose Andres. We had the alcohol pairing too. I posted a review about it in the Vegas boards. Foodspotting also has some decent photos of it. I would go again in a minute.

        2. I have never been to E and I don't know what comparison you want to make between it, Alinea and NEXT. Maybe you could say more.

          Alinea's menu is on the website, but do be aware that it is likely to change a bit from day to day.

          The circles on the menu represent the size of each course. The smallest circles are just a bite or two. The larger ones are more substantial portions.

          NEXT totally changes its style and its menu (Paris 1896; Bangkok street food; childhood; el Bulli) every three months and sells "tickets" to dinner during the time frame in advance. You would have to register on the website to get the quarterly notifications. If you "like" NEXT on it's Facebook, fan page you will get notifications of available tickets for same day dinners. Not the best option if you are visiting the city for just a few days.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chicgail

            >> The circles on the menu represent the size of each course. The smallest circles are just a bite or two. The larger ones are more substantial portions.

            Diners are served all courses, which are listed in the order in which they are served. The circles are positioned left to right based on whether their flavor profile is sweet (right) or savory (left).

          2. Does Next have some molecular gastronomy as part of their menu?

            5 Replies
            1. re: itryalot

              Not always. Paris and Thailand didn't have a lot of obvious MG on the plate (though they are probably doing something sous vide back there), save for a dessert during Thailand. Childhood does. El Bulli will, of course.

              1. re: kathryn

                Is Childhood another restaurant? What about Aviary?

                1. re: itryalot

                  Childhood is the theme of the current menu at Next. It has been running since October, so it will be replaced in the next month or so by the El Bulli menu.

                  Aviary is next door to Next and is primarily a bar.

                  1. re: itryalot

                    It doesn't hurt to register now on the Next web page just in case you get lucky and hear about the ticket sales at the right moment - I did and was able to have a spectacular time with their Childhood menu.

                    No matter what, when you're in Chicago you can go to Aviary for cocktails ... it's a gorgeous room, you can watch the cocktail chefs working in their "cage" and they do have both tasting menus and a la carte cocktails as well as small bites (very small bites rather than "bar food") They also have a kitchen table for ... I think ... $165 per peson that is often available and I've heard it's definitely fun. We had drinks at Aviary before dinner at Next and I really enjoyed the experience and the drinks!

                    Aviary does take reservations but they are easy to get so it's a nice way to sample a bit of Achatz.

                    1. re: Siun

                      It doesn't hurt to register, however, when El Bulli goes on sale, it'll be very likely tied to season tickets, so when you click to buy, you'll be buying Kyoto and Sicily as well.

                      The Kitchen Table at Aviary is $165pp and for parties of 2 or 4 only. It's booked 4 weeks in advance via email. However it's 10 courses, so you need a high tolerance to partake. There's also not a lot of food included. I think it's more fun to order the drinks that look appealing to you via the a la carte or prix fixe menus.