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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Each diner receives nine courses, and for the appetizers and desserts, each person at the table will receive a different dish, which Beran says is a nod to ordering a la carte at a steakhouse. The appetizers are shrimp cocktail, surf and turf with mussels and sweetbreads, oysters Il Bronzino and surf clam Siciliano, while the desserts are a cheesecake brulee and the Norwegian omelette.

John Schafer, the general manager and wine director, said that drink pairings begin with a shochu martini shaken tableside that’s made with Carpano Bianco vermouth, which is new to the Chicago market. There’s also a beer the Aviary made with Chicago's Pipeworks Brewing Company: The One Horned Wonder and His Fanciful Flying Fresno is an IPA with passionfruit and fresno chilies. Plus, there’s Riesling, Champagne and a Sardinian wine from Dettori that Schafer says is “made from grapes that are left on the vine to partially raisin before being pressed.” 

The dinner ends with coffee drink spiked with Deanston (a single malt Highland Scotch) that Schafer says was conceived as “a coffee drink with flavors of a rusty nail” to “pair with caramelized sugar and the blueberry flavors of the desserts.”

Chicago Steak runs through April, and unlike previous Next dinners, tickets didn’t sell out immediately.

“I think it’s a few things,” Beran says, when asked what contributed to the slower sales. “This is the first time we’ve released everything right after the holidays and obviously the weather wasn’t in anyone’s favor the last couple of weeks. It’s also a higher price point. We looked at things like the cost of beef and the quantities we wanted to have and it’s slightly more expensive than other menus we’ve done."

Tickets are still available at

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