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The Aviary’s Cryptic Menu Points to Kitchen Wizardry

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Black truffle explosion, everything bagel cocktails, and more

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The Aviary The Aviary/Facebook

Tickets are now live for The Aviary’s New York City debut, the highly experimental cocktail bar import from Chicago from three-Michelin-starred Alinea duo chef Grant Achatz and partner Nick Kokonas. The restaurant, located on the top floor of the Mandarin Oriental in Columbus Circle, opens Wednesday evening, making the Alinea Group’s entry into NYC complete.

The food and drink menus — in full below — are equal parts perplexing and fascinating, with some dishes giving enough of a description to suss out, while others are much more cryptic. “Not Ramen” lists mushroom dashi, nori, and a soft-poached egg as the ingredients, while “Pineapple” has mole, passion fruit, and black mint. Then there’s the more straightforward ones like a pork belly curry with banana, cashew, and iceberg.

Drinks follow the same formula, though the names skew whimsical. “How Does Snoop Dogg Use Lemongrass?” doesn’t list lemongrass as an ingredient, instead saying it’s a vodka swizzle with Peychaud’s and ginger snow. The group’s signature tricks are displayed in drinks like the “Wake and Bake,” a mix of rye whiskey, coffee, and orange juice alongside an everything bagel-scented pillow.

The Japan-influenced food menu is a la carte for now, starting with dinner only. In weeks to come, there will be prix-fixe options ranging from three- to 10-courses, as well as lunch and breakfast.

The Aviary follows the June debut of The Office, its smaller speakeasy sibling that can now only be accessed by walking through Aviary. Though The Office came first — purely for construction reasons — Aviary is the larger of the two. Achatz calls the Office “a look back in time,” while the Aviary has a more forward-thinking, “progressive nature.” In Chicago, Eater calls the two essential to the drinking scene for their “revolutionary” nature.

The Aviary is now open for dinner. Stay tuned for photos.

The Aviary NYC

80 Columbus Circle, Manhattan, NY 10023 (212) 805-8800 Visit Website

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