Wow, people sure love to praise unopened restaurants. In the article "Top 10 Best Celebration Restaurants" in the December issue of Bon Appétit, listicle-writer extraordinaire Andrew Knowlton included Grant Achatz's highly-anticipated Chicago restaurant Next. Thing is, it's not open. Word on the street is February 2011.
Can one write that Next is "a spot that takes its service as seriously as its food" and call it one of their "favorites" if the doors aren't open? This is sort of a trend now! Epicurious pulled the same stunt in September by anointing Next the "top restaurant of 2010."
Fresh off being awarded three Michelin stars for Alinea, one can only assume that Achatz's time and space-traveling restaurant will be great — plus it puts this weird pressure on Achatz to open. But there are couple of questions that need to be asked:
1. We get it, print needs long lead times. Sometimes you write something that will be published months in advance. But this is online. Why is Next included in this list? Can the list be updated? Or amended?
2. Perhaps more importantly, how often do restaurants sneak onto listicles like this without the author having visited them? Does the magazine have an editorial policy that if a restaurant is written about, it must have been visited (even once) by the writer recommending it? That it must be, uh, open?