Posted 20 May 2012 - 11:15 PM
On the basis of very little evidence, I'm going to call bullshit on Aviary.
We went after the epic El Bulli dinner next door at Next. Our original intention was to try the Cocktail Tasting. But there was no way we were going to do that after the drinkathon Next provided with the dinner. So we ordered a cocktail each.
This seems to me to be more a restaurateur's assay than a Serious Cocktail Bar.
First, they're limited to their menu, which changes frequently. When we tried to order something from a previous menu, which a companion who'd been there before recommended highly, they couldn't make it.
Second, the drinks are gimmicky in a way that actually hurts the drinks. Take the Old Fashioned variant I ordered. It comes enclosed in an ice sphere (in a glass), which you break (the ice sphere, not the glass) to drink the liquid. The problem with this is that the drink is then cooled by shards of thin ice -- the precise opposite of the big, thick, hyper-cooled cubes that are currently used to provide maximum cooling with minimum dilution. Other than that it looks cool, I cannot think of a single justification for serving a drink Aviary's way. Much as I enjoy the company of Xavier Herit at Daniel (and like some of his drinks), this is the kind of gimmicky thing he'd come up with to impress his Uptown Restaurant Crowd -- not the kind of preparation you'd use for Serious Cocktailians.
You can't slam a place on the basis of one drink. But there, I just did.