Went to Next last Friday night, and had a regrettably mediocre meal. We got there fairly late--around 9pm--to a largely empty dining room. Hmmm.... Should have been a clue. Space was nice--my partner & I both like the spare industrial look, and they had some nice splashes of color--but cold. They were doing a special VD pix fixe, but there was nothing terribly interesting about the selection and the price didn't offer any savings off the regular menu.
Our starters were the potstickers (~$8) and duck salad (~$10). My potstickers were okay--there was a strange too-sweet flavor to the sauce, as if they were playing up a korean style sweeter soy sauce base--but they were fine. The duck was apparently both overcooked and largely lacking in flavor. Also, both appetizers came out literally about 3 minutes after we ordered. It could not have been more obvious that food was not going to be cooked to order. Already not terribly impressed.
For an entree I had the salmon, seduced by the promise of celeriac latkes (~$17, I think); partner had the cumin-coated venison (maybe ~$22?). Food again brought out very quickly--we barely had time to have a glass of wine between courses. My salmon again was okay but somewhat overcooked; the latkes were yummy tho quickly got soggy & lost their appealing crisp. The venison was not only not coated (which partner had confirmed, to his relief, before ordering), but again also overcooked and pretty tasteless. We finished off with a little chocolate souffle filled with warm chocolate sauce which I liked but partner thought was boring & too dry. The impression I got was that the kitchen was capable of better, but not terribly interested in doing so.
Throughout the evening service was quick to the point of being rushed; we left behind one practically full bottle of wine and one 1/3rd full. Bill for the evening came out to about $80 with tax & tip.
With great places like Marigold, Pumpkin, Chloe, and Matyson around and at similar prices we won't be heading back to Next.