'Aviary' on Serious Eats

Bartender's Choice: What to Order at Aviary in Portland, Oregon

"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." More

A Cocktail Called Bitter: A Recipe from Chicago's the Aviary

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. More

Aviary's Bitter

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. More

Chicago: An Evening At Aviary

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. More

Meet & Eat: Grant Achatz

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. More

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