Next is, without doubt, a unique restaurant. And it requires, for better and for worse, a unique approach to review.
Because Next changes its concept every 13 weeks or so (exception: the El Bulli menu, which launched two weeks ago, continues through May), a critic must secure a table very early in each menu’s cycle, so that the subsequent review still has relevance.
And because the menu remains the same within the cycle, repeat visits — in every other instance an absolute necessity for a fair evaluation — merely serve to delay the process. And so, unlike every other restaurant I’ve reviewed, my evaluations of Next will be based on a single visit.
This year, Next...