Sure, it's kind of a stretch, but with temperatures close to 90 today, icy treats aren't such a bad thing, right? Plus, if you apply any of these directly to your forehead, it might help temporarily relieve that headache.
'Aviary' on Serious Eats
Boy, my Atkins diet has not been going well. Yes sir, I've been hitting the carbs pretty hard this past year in search of Chicago's best noodles. And looking back on 12 months' worth of Knockout Noodles columns, I feel confident when I say this is an exciting time to be a noodle lover in this town.
"We're really just big nerds who don't know how to do any other job," says Ross Hunsinger, lead bartender at Aviary on Alberta Street in NE Portland." Hunsinger says that creativity and collaboration are encouraged and boundaries between the kitchen and bar are non-existent. "I am really lucky to have people with really great palates to bounce ideas off of," says Hunsinger. "The constant collaboration brings us all to a higher level."
Craig Schoettler is handy with a blowtorch. It's not your typical bartool, but then again, the Aviary—where Schoettler runs the beverage program—is far from your typical bar. Always hunting for new inspiration and raw materials, Schoettler happened to ask the folks at Heaven Hill in Kentucky if the Aviary could have one of the distillery's spent bourbon barrels. They happily obliged, and soon enough Schoettler was devising ways to incorporate the sweet, comforting, campfire aroma locked within the charred, whiskey-seasoned wood into an Aviary cocktail.
The Bitter cocktail, from the Aviary in Chicago, is served in a glass that's been smoked over a piece of smoldering bourbon barrel stave, which is custom-cut by the cocktail lounge's industrial designer. Fear not—we love this cocktail with or without the touch of smokiness! But if you're feeling adventurous and want to truly re-create this drink at home, used small-format, seasoned barrels are available for purchase online from New York's Tuthilltown Spirits, makers of Hudson whiskey.
Never before has an evening at a cocktail bar been such a theatrical experience. My expectations were high after hearing the hype surrounding Aviary, the recently-opened hotspot of chef Grant Achatz and business partner Nick Kokonas (other projects include Alinea and Next). Visions of smoke, mirrors, and white-coats working in laboratories floated through my head...It turns out I wasn't that far off.
Alinea chef Grant Achatz just published his memoir Life on the Line, which details his path to culinary greatness and his coinciding battle with tongue cancer. He's simultaneously been in the process of opening his new restaurant project Next, and the accompanying bar Aviary. The man's busy! Learn about his upcoming projects, and his secret love of Little Caesar's.
Alinea chef Grant Achatz wouldn't have any ole gin and tonic at his soon-to-open experimental cocktail bar Aviary. He'd do one up with Anchor's junipero gin, yellow chartreuse, and cucumber alginate encapsulation, a fancy name for those cucumber bubble tea balls—and there are 100 in this glass! Imagine making 200 of those drinks a night. That's 20,000 balls, people!