Chef Dave Beran talks Next: Chicago Steak

The chef talks about inspiration for the new menu and putting a Next spin on a classic concept.

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The oysters course is called oysters Il Bronzino, which is named after an Italian poet and painter from the 1500s who coined the term for 'panzanella.'


“The oyster dish is basically oysters with broccoli panzanella, but we didn’t want to call it that, so we researched the history of the salad and named it after him.”


The Le Vasseur salad is named after a creek in Michigan, and it’s made with frog legs, which Beran recalled eating when he was younger. 


“I used to live in Michigan and would catch frogs when I was a little kid,” he says. “There’s a creek by my parents' house where watercress and pine grow, and we made a pinenut, frog leg and watercress salad, and named it after the creek.”


The baked Alaska dish is called a Norwegian omelette.


“Baked Alaska was first made to recognize the U.S. acquisition of Alaska, and the original name for it was the Florida Alaska, since it was something cold in something warm,” Beran says. “The predecessor is a French dish called the Norwegian omelette, which is the same concept of hot and cold. An omelette is a warm egg dish with something inside, and Norway is cold.”


The main course is steak, which is a dry-aged ribeye from Flannery Beef in California.


“We decided we wanted a boneless ribeye, and a really nice dry-aged one,” Beran says. “We brought in probably 30 different ribeyes and sourced from everywhere we could. We tried classics like LaFrieda that were aged from 15 to 100 days. We went to Whole Foods and Eataly and bought everything we could get our hands on. We tried all different ages.”


They settled on Flannery Beef and tried beef from several farms they work with.


“The ribeye is aged a minimum of 30 days and it’s between 30 and 45 days” and the meat is served “right around medium rare.”



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