New theme restaurant caters to your inner-child

How food comes served at Next:Childhood. (photo courtesy of eater.com)How food comes served at Next:Childhood. (photo courtesy of eater.com)What do you feel like tonight? Italian?Chinese? Kid? Children may be losing their restaurant privileges in some parts of the country, but in Chicago they've inspired a new genre of food: inner-child fare.Next: Childhood, which opened this past weekend, is part theme restaurant, part culinary amusement park for the kid in you. Instead of plates, food is served in vintage lunch-boxes with spiked punch in accompanying thermoses. For dessert, a beater is the utensil and uncooked cookie dough is the finished dish. Chefs Dave Beran and Grant Achatz have created mind-bending versions of kids menu staples for their restaurant: think chicken noodle soup, but with the noodles made from chicken. Sweet potato casseroles with marshmallows set ablaze like a campfire in front of diners. Fried fish sticks on a plate decorated with edible stick figure drawings. To be clear: this isn't as much a kids' restaurant, as a restaurant curated by the child brain. At the grand opening this past weekend, diners dressed in superhero costumes because they could. No tantrum required. Because the biggest adult downer of any meal is getting the check, Next:Childhood has eliminated that too. Patrons pre-pay for tickets for the six course price fix menu, without always knowing what they're ordering up. In the near future, the chefs may decide on an all Thai menu or 1950's diner grub for an entire season. The menu changes every three months in the perfectly juvenile way kids tire of toy they were obsessed with only days before. But can two adults simulate childhood without the help of a kid? Heck no. Achatz's two young sons worked in the kitchen with dad to help conceptualize the look and flavors. "For Christmas the food should be served in a Santa hat," suggests one of Atchaz's boy geniuses during a video brainstorming session. This dining experience it's just a culinary journey, it's a psychological one too. Can you imagine how many break-throughs people have by the fourth course?At the very least, you know you're going to get to drink out of a Snoopy thermos. That alone is worth the ticket price. Related: 10 tips on taking kids out to eat No kids allowed at restaurant America's best amusement park food 10 extreme theme restaurants