My dinner last night at Next was a beautiful progression of Escoffier era dining: from the magical hors d'oeuvres served on an elegant silver tray, all the way through the 9th course - a luscious bombe ceylan filled with coffee and vanilla rum ice cream encased in chocolate. But one of the most dramatic (and deliciously impressive) courses was the Caneton Rouennais a la Presse, or pressed duck. Chef Dave Beran allowed me to come back to the kitchen to watch how he uses one of his two antique duck presses to create this magnificent dish. I didn't nab a picture of the gratin of potatoes served alongside the duck, but trust me, the comte cheese-laden, thinly-sliced tubers crowned with crunchy breadcrumbs were among the best starches I've ever had.
Incidentally, Beran says the final Paris 1906 meal will be served June 30th. He and his team will take a few days off, then the restaurant will morph into the next iteration - Thai street food - and begin service July 8th.
I'll be tweeting some of my highlights from last night throughout the day today, and check back in Monday, when I have some killer video from Aviary, Grant Achatz's mind-bending cocktail lounge/lab next door.