Thursday, November 11, 2010
Back To Drawing Board For Aviary Cocktails?!
Alinea chefs Dave Beran (from left), Craig Schoettler and Grant Achatz discuss The Aviary build out. (Photo: The Aviary)
Thirty five of Chicago's best bar stars were assembled at The Ivy Room Tuesday to get a sneak preview of the revolutionary cocktails set to be served at The Aviary when it opens soon in the Warehouse District.
Sponsored by Absolut Vodka and orchestrated by Alinea's Grant Achatz and his team, the eight-hour, $600-per-person experience included a "sensory analysis workshop," multi-course degustation and a number of full-size cocktails planned for The Aviary's menu.
These experts—who work behind the bars in some of Chicago's top restos and lounges—were blown away by the dishes and presentations, however, many said the cocktails left much to be desired.
312DD spoke to quite a few of the attendees, who said that while the cocktail presentations were damn near flawless, the flavor profiles were off. They tasted at least seven to 10 drinks, but most really only liked one: The Aviary's version of a Sidecar made with a lemongrass swizzle.
Additional feedback on the cocktails included "overdone," "not balanced" and "too strong." There was also much discussion on The Aviary's version of the classic Sazerac, which many felt was "not an authentic interpretation."
Could the bartender-less concept of The Aviary be at fault here?! One of Alinea's chefs, Craig Schoettler, is heading up the cocktail program. He's also in charge of Alinea's popular edible cocktails, which are part of the regular menu, and which the bartenders also sampled and loved.