The Aviary is still going strong. Yes, it's obviously expensive and the ticketing thing makes for a different experience, but the drinks and snacks are still great. And given the crowds, the formula seems to work.
Highlights from last night:
The Hollow is the current drink made using the famous Porthole Infuser. It's made with honeybush, fennel, ginger, saffron, and corn whiskey. Starts off as a really good corn whiskey with slight accents of the various other ingredients an develops into an excellent balanced cocktail.
The Goodnight & Goodmorning is a hot drink made tableside with a little show. The heat causes the liquor to rise up into the upper chamber where it infuses with vanilla and rooibos. I was unclear as to all the liquor involved but the boldest flavor comes from a strawberry brandy made by Rhine Hall for The Aviary.
When it's done, the drink comes back down to the lower chamber and we were left with a sweet, boozy and very strawberry forward drink that we thought was really, really great.
The PB&J is listed as merely peanut, concord grape, and crispy milk. But on a night where six of us did some damage at The Publican and I tried several drinks at Aviary, this was the my favorite taste of the night. The peanut is an intense chewy and slightly crispy peanut butter cookie/brownie thing that was just great. The rest of the plate included intense concord grape sorbet, grapes soaked in verjus blanc (I think other things were done to those grapes but I can't remember), compressed apple, skim milk wafer, and some sweet crispy bits made out of something I missed.
Aviary's far from a regular stop for me, but it's a great place to visit every now and then.