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Aviary, a new bar, formerly known as Boom


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Today, The Wall Street Journal runs a fairly standard piece on how star chefs have been making the leap to the cocktail circuit lately and in the process, revolutionizing the mixed drink. However, the most intriguing parts of the article are the details of Grant Achatz's new project: a bar. Boom. The Alinea wunderkind's first follow-up effort will be, according to Achatz, a "standalone bar and lounge where food will come second to drinks."

 

Molecule bar

 

ETA subject line, from "Boom" to "Apiary" to "Aviary"

Edited by Rail Paul
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Molecule bar   ETA subject line, from "Boom" to "Apiary" to "Aviary"

I'm impressed that you remember the cocktail after the El Bulli experience.

did you post about schwa?

"I would love the opportunity to sit down at a bar and say I am going to have an alcohol tasting menu", Achatz said.

"Liquid nitrogen, dry ice, tapiocas, foam cotton candy, it's endless", Achatz said.

 

There's the rub: it's not endless. A couple of "cocktails" (irrespective of their size) and that's it for most people

 

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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.

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