The Aviary Recommended Menu Image

Hours: Sunday, Wednesday-Saturday 6 PM-1:30 AM
Closed Monday, Tuesday

Price: $$$

Grant Achatz and the Alinea team's high-concept cocktail lounge.

Restaurant Details

At Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas's highly acclaimed cocktail lounge cum restaurant, there are plenty of cocktails to marvel at, and while they skew toward a sweeter palate, in general they're well balanced and delicious. But that's not why you came. Often the flavor and balance are subordinate to some redefining characteristic or story or eye-popping trick, and often you're just left to wonder. Even the most straightforward have some redefining characteristic: the $28 Truffle may be the finest negroni I've ever drunk despite the expensive and not-altogether-necessary slice of fungus garnishing the bottom of the coupe. Some of the most dynamic are dependent on the flavor-changing powers of dilution, for which many and varied ice shapes—and a dedicated "ice chef"—are employed. In the wrong frame of mind I could see how drinks at the Aviary might seem chilly and impersonal. But with the understanding that your time here isn’t about you and your drinking buddies but about The Experience of Being Here, by Grant Achatz, it could become one of those rare but essential activities that, along with a game at Wrigley, a trip up the Willis Tower—or dinner at Alinea—are defining Chicago experiences. Read the full review >>

Mike Sula

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Price: $$$

Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, Discover

Bar Details

There are plenty of cocktails to marvel at while visiting Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas’s cocktail lounge—now under the supervision of former Drawing Room bartender Charles Joy—and in general they’re well balanced and delicious. But that’s not why you came. Often the flavor and balance are subordinate to some redefining characteristic or story or eye-popping trick. Even the most straightforward have some redefining characteristic. In the wrong frame of mind I could see how drinks at the Aviary might seem chilly and impersonal. But with the understanding that your time here isn’t about you and your drinking buddies but about The Experience of Being Here, by Grant Achatz, it could become one of those rare but essential activities that, along with a game at Wrigley, a trip up the Willis Tower—or dinner at Alinea—are defining Chicago experiences. —Mike Sula

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