The Aviary

After informing the doorman of our 10pm reservation for two, he alerted someone inside of our arrival via headset. They were ready for us. The doors opened and we were promptly escorted to our waiting table. Our bubbly, pint-sized waitress welcomed us to the The Aviary and then guided us through the extensive drink menu. Once she finished her schpeel, my husband, wide-eyed and only half-joking asked, “Is this real life?” He was right, this place was kind of crazy and unlike anywhere we’d ever been.

Grant Achatz, the mastermind chef behind Alinea and Next, brings his over-the-top, blow-your-mind culinary expertise to the alcoholic beverage arena at The Aviary. With an ice chef creating 23 different shapes and flavors of ice for the cocktails in the state-of-the-art drink kitchen, don’t expect your run of the mill Vodka Soda.

My husband and I decided on the Prix Fixe Menu, allowing us to select one drink from each of the three sections. With only a few words listed under each drink description, it left plenty of room for interpretation. The first round we choose  Blackberry (sparkling rose, star anise) and Lychee (basil, maraschino, rum). The Lychee arrived in a miniature glass bottle wrapped in a brown bag, as they said, to keep it classy.

The second round, I ordered the Sangria (pineau, frozen fruit, cognac) and my husband selected the Peach (almond, orange, scotch). The Peach arrived in what looked like a French press coffee maker and was promptly poured in the glass.  My drink was garnished with frozen fruit, keeping the drink perfectly chilled as I sipped it to the end.

For the final round, the dessert course, I ordered the Cold Chocolate (menthol, almond, wheat whiskey) and my husband the Horchata (cinnamon, rum tequila). These insanely delicious and sweet drinks definitely fulfilled any dessert cravings I was having. The Cold Chocolate arrived in an asymmetrical glass with a menthol-flavored ice chunk frozen to the side, while a warm almond foam sat at the top. I thought my drink was incredible, but then I tasted the Horchata, which arrived in a styrofoam cup to carry out the Mexican street fare feeling. The cinnamon flavored ice cubes mixed with the liquor and other unknown ingredients were so good, it was difficult to decide which of the two drinks I liked more.

It was quite the night at The Aviary!

Drink kitchen

Blackberry and Lychee

Peach

Sangria

Horchata and Cold Chocolate

The craziest bowl of chips I’ve ever seen

 

 

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