5 o’clock cocktails || aviary
At the conclusion of a wonderful dinner enjoyed at NEXT [next door], we took the opportunity to skip the lines and asked ahead of time if we could be accommodated at the end of dinner in Grant Achatz’s [of Alinea fame] other new hotspot, his molecular cocktail kitchen called ‘Aviary‘. The lounge serves up bites of food sold in sets of three along with the most amazing cocktails I have ever laid eyes on. Each cocktail is simply named, but there is nothing simple in their creation, ice is simply not ice and nothing is what it appears at first glance. The drinks average around $17-19 they do deliver quiet a tasty show. I don’t want to give away too many surprises but ….
Upon our arrival we were ushered to the standing room only area with high round bar tables as there were six  of us, the lovely couple sitting beside us at dinner joined our four  top. Personally, I think this is the best view in the house, this is where you get to watch all the action and see what drinks were available. We didn’t opt to taste any more food having just finished a decadent 8 course french dinner [more about that tomorrow], we were there just for the drinks, and with the prompt arrival of our server we were presented with a small drinkable ‘amuse bouche’ so to speak to get us started.
I say let the visuals be your guide for your drink selection here and do away with the menu. I was quickly drawn to ‘blueberry’ a canteen of fruits and herbs steeping away in a glorious bath of booze. They did provide a glass to enjoy the drink, but I opted for drinking right out of the device it was delivered in. High-class I know, if it is any consolation I was at least in a cocktail frock and heels.
Finishing up my canteen I then set my eyes on another cocktail that looked more like a bubbling science experiment. I convinced my husband we had to have it and opted to share it [we had after all start the night off with a bottle of Perrier-Jouet Fleur De Champagne and then had the wine pairings at dinner]. The drink was called Rooibos served in a bunson burner apparatus, don’t order it if you prefer not to draw attention to yourself. It is a sophisticated ‘hot-toddy’ and a perfect ending for the evening …
… and least we thought it was until they turned up with one more little sip to end the night. Consisting of charring some wood to smoke up the glasses and then adding a creamy and frothy and again oh-so-boozey end to the evening. Before we could gather our coats, our valet cars had been pulled around ready for our departure, talk about service. Well worth a visit for the experience of such a creative cocktail lounge. You can read about NEXT here.
To see some more photos on the Aviary just click here.