Steaks at Next, pizza back at Burt's, and more | Bleader

Steaks at Next, pizza back at Burt's, and more



• The hints from Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas are proving true: Next's next theme will be "Chicago Steakhouse," 50s-era, says Food & Wine. And as everyone knows, Next did not get a Michelin star, but in past years Michelin had said that Next's changing genres every three months, and the scarcity of tickets, made it impossible for them to judge the restaurant by their normal methods. However, it turns out the 2014 edition of the guide does review Next—well, they seem to have gone to the Vegan menu this summer, anyway—and the review, though it kind of hedges things, gives clues that Michelin's inspectors simply didn't care for the restaurant that much. It only scores 2/4 for comfort (which certainly makes anything above one star impossible in Michelin-land) and the food is called "outrageously hyped," which you can read however you want.

• As I mentioned on Tuesday, Lee Wolen of Michelin-starred the Lobby at the Peninsula, whose departure was already announced, is landing at Michelin-starred Boka, which will close for a freshening-up it can use (not that it's dated, but it doesn't feel as up-to-the-minute as other Boka Group restaurants like Girl & the Goat or GT Fish & Oyster).

• Not many 40-year-old restaurants hold a friends and family night, but the Burt's Place fans at LTHForum report that the Morton Grove pizzeria held one last night to mark the return of owner/pizza-maker Burt Katz after a fall took him out of commission for the last several months. But don't even try to go till you've read the pages of instructions at the site on how to reserve your oven time, etc.

• Ever seen a Mangalitsa pig? They're a Hungarian breed with woolly hair and lots of fat for lard (important in Eastern Europe!). And they taste really good. Lula Cafe is holding a Mangalitsa pig dinner to benefit the Howard Brown Health Center next Monday; Lula chef Jason Hammel will be joined by Rob Levitt (the Butcher & Larder), Cosmo Goss (Publican Quality Meats), and Mark Steuer (Carriage House). It's $95, which includes a five-course dinner and all drinks; all proceeds go to the Center.

• Meanwhile, in chef moves: Duncan Biddulph, formerly of Rootstock, will be the chef of Element Collective's sustainable seafood spot Kinmont. As his (very droll) Key Ingredient episode shows, Biddulph is well versed in fish reproductive capabilities, making him the perfect man for the job.

• The first journalistic accounts about Charlie Trotter after his death seemed to be trying to flood the zone, and it took a few days for better ones to come out. I recommend Homaro Cantu's gonzo account of working in Trotter's kitchen, this warm anecdote by Phillip Foss on Facebook, and this account by Janet Rausa Fuller, who actually broke the story of his restaurant's closing in the Sun-Times.

• Speaking of Trotter, Next, steak houses, and other things, Anthony Todd of Chicagoist and I talk about all of them in this podcast.

• Mystified by Korean food? Check out Serious Eats Chicago's comprehensive guide to the gateway dishes and where to try them.

• If you're into local food you should have the Local Beet's Calendar bookmarked already, but this week's is especially useful since it includes a guide to where to acquire local, sustainable turkeys and other Thanksgiving goods.

• And the Chicago Food Film Festival starts next Wednesday night. See the schedule here.