Each time I have visited mfk I just can’t understand why it is not absolutely packed. Somehow it has remained Chicago’s best kept secret. Suffice it to say I love everything on this menu. Ok maybe not the sardine butter but the ceviche could just keep coming all day long.
braised oxtail & potato croquettes, charred tomato aioli
ceviche, poblano guacamole, squid ink tostada
bread, sardine butter, breakfast radishes
roasted & chilled cauliflower, xato, almond, pickled onion
poached shrimp, green papaya, cucumber, sugar snap peas
seafood fideous, toasted vermicelli, piperade, saffron
Unfortunately Roister was not yet open for lunch by this trip as I was hoping so we were forced into Plan B which was a Roister and Next doubleheader. Maybe it doesn’t quite count doing the a la carte menu vs. the Roister menu but there always has to be something to strive for the next time (no pun intended). We were not able to order the larger dishes that I wanted the most (actually willing and able but would regret it later on) but I still think that we did pretty well. As Roister seemed to be so long in the making there was a part of me that feared it would fall short of expectations. But of course I should know better. It was exceedingly difficult to not finish absolutely everything and think about anything other than when I could get back here again.
Yukon fries – soy dusted, bonito flakes, rice vinegar, tofu mayo
Baja hiramasa – black sesame, raspberry, tarragon
Grilled asparagus salad – macadamia nut dressing, fennel, rice
Gulf shrimp toast – red crab butter
Carolina gold rice – hoisin glazed carrots, mushrooms, thai basil
Foie gras – black walnuts, pretzel, marshmallow
Strawberries & milk – jam, gummies, shortbread crumb
We had to exit the West Loop for a bit of the evening to enjoy some fantastic cocktails from the lovely Julia Momose.
Next South America (Peru)
There is not too much I can say about each visit to Next that I haven’t already said before. But this was easily my second favorite of all of the Next menus and if I lived in Chicago I would certainly be back for the other country iterations. This was a completely seamless transition to Chef Tomaska and I can’t wait to see what he does with the next menu.
Raspadilla – chicha morada, cassia, leche
banana & passionfruit
corn & chocolate
lime & orange
mackerel, kombu, peanut, cactus fruit
casabe, canchita, solterito de queso
empanada, rocoto relleno, anticucho
escabeche de camaron
paiche, gooseberry, coconut, pork
gallina, humita, pina, salsa criolla
guava & picarones
chocolate, rhubarb, dulce de leche
Because one is never too full for a black truffle explosion.