The Hunt: Next’s woodsy traverse across meats

Back in the beginning of February, I went back to Next for their Hunt menu.
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My impression of The Hunt was that it was a nice, well thought-out, and cohesive meal. However, it lacked the inspiration that previous menus at Next had. In fact, I don’t think I’ve really been impressed by the menus since Childhood. I didn’t go to Kyoto, so I can’t judge that one, but Sicily and The Hunt weren’t that impressive.

But… then again, it still was a nice meal.

To start, the Hen of the Woods
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This was just oyster mushrooms that had been smoked. You were supposed to forage for these yourself in this jewelry box.

Followed by a mushroom soup
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Nothing too exciting, but it reminds me very much of the fall Deer menu at Elizabeth.

Catch of the Great Lakes
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Pretty much just a fish charcuterie.

Charcu-Tree
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This one was a log of different cured meats. I really enjoyed the bite of blood sausage, which is the last one that looks like a piece of coal. The nice thing about a few of these bites were that they were warm, which helped to mix the protein and fat together in your mouth.

Cellar Aged Carrots & Onions
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The actual carrot part of the carrot, and not those root-y things coming off of it was quite tasty. It was tender and sweet. But, those stringy things weren’t too great to eat.

Duck Tongue, Cider Vinegar
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Sturgeon & Caviar – supposed to evoke decadence

Just just the sturgeon…
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No caviar yet.

But then….
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And voila! Instant decadence! (Of course, the plates are also rimmed with gold.)

Woodcock Jolie
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Woodcock steak. I thought it tasted fine. Not particularly different than quail.

Pressed Squab
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I actually enjoyed this squab, the medallions, talons, and all. I thought it was well cooked and the skin on the squab leg was nice and crispy.

Squab wings served in the middle of the table
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Sort of like eating chicken wings…

With steel cut oats on the side
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The oats were fine, but the sauce that they were cooked in, which was a reduction of the jus left over from the squab was too salty. Otherwise I would have loved the oats.

Fallen leaves & Kidney
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They said this was supposed to taste like charcuterie. I really didn’t get that from this dish; instead, it was just kind of too salty and seemed to lack flavor to me. Although, it looks very beautiful and interesting.

The Bison & Bearnaise is next…

A hot rock to grill your bison slices on.
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It was actually really hot. Hot enough to grill your meat on.

Bison on the stone.
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This dish was rather simple. Grill your bison and then dip it.

In your bearnaise.
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Marrow Brulee.
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Extra fluffy bone marrow that tastes like custard. Bruleed on top. I think this might have been my favorite thing to eat out of the entire meal.

Maris Otter was next, but I got too excited and ate that before I remembered to take a photo. It was kind of like oatmeal and we were given a variety of different toppings to mix into it.

Tire D’erable
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The stuff from the Sucrerie de la Montagne was still better.

Overall, still a nice meal. Just kind of miss the fun and innovative stuff Next used to do.
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