The Aviary

Last Friday night, I had the privilege of indulging on delicious drinks at the chic Chicago cocktail lounge The Aviary.

{Bird Cage Kitchen}
Operated by chef Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas (Alinea), Aviary is all about its cocktails. And gorgeous presentation. 

The four-star restaurant takes dining and drinking to the next level, engaging all of the senses with a wide variety of innovative and cutting-edge cocktail crafts.


My personal favorite of the night was the coco-loco ($15) off the el Bulli menu, which debuted in February 2012. This frozen rum & vodka treat is dipped in liquid nitrogen 7 times to achieve its light and airy texture and killer flavor.

{Rob Roy}
{In The Rocks}


With recommendations from Tizzie, an Aviary regular, Diego ordered some of the most unique items off the A La Carte menu. I only got a picture of In The Rocks ($18) after the egg was cracked (left), but when it was first brought out, the hollow egg of ice was whole with demerara, angostura and bourbon injected inside. One swift crack later and Diego was enjoying the delicious rum and whiskey cocktail. Bringing aromatics into the mix, his second drink-the Rob Roy ($19)-was served in an air-tight plastic bag that released a calming lavender scent when popped.  
{Berry & Molly Arlington}

Bianca and I both opted to do the Prix Fixe menu to keep our costs down a bit. For $45 we chose an item from three different preset sections. Off the first, we both had the Berry drink made with lemon, thyme and bourbon. From the second, the Molly Arlington--a mix of seville orange shrub, champagne and cognac. And the best of all? Horchata served the only way it should be--in styrofoam cups with plastic straws!  

{white sangria in suspension}
B also tried the white sangria in suspension, which uses Xanathan gum to separate the layers of fruit and herbs to make them appear as if they are floating. 

She ended with the Ginger mix of shiso, peychaud's and vodka for a nice, stomach settling cocktail. ----->

Between the four of us, we racked up a tab of nearly $350. With the 18% service charge already added, I felt like it was a fair price for the great service and attention to detail that went into each drink.

Definitely too expensive to become a regular spot, but we had a lot of fun treating ourselves for a night and doing something different than pounding shots at a house party or drinking cheap beer at a Lincoln Park/Wrigley spot.

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