The Aviary

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70 Totally Fine

Like the original Aviary, this one is billed as a bar with plenty of snacks and troupes of mixologists, herbalogists, and ice aficionados on hand.

80 Columbus Cir., New York, NY, 10023

http://aviarynyc.com

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The lowdown

Yes, the hotel-lobby setting feels a little impersonal, and if you’re familiar with chef Grant Achatz’s experiments back in Chicago, purchasing one of the many booking options on the restaurant website might feel a little like buying tickets to the performance of a traveling production of Cats, say, or a long-running Vegas magic show. But for grizzled, no-nonsense New Yorkers who’re used to taking their ritual martinis straight up, and who’ve endured enough comfort-food manias over the past decade or so to last a lifetime, there’s a certain pleasurable release in sitting back and enjoying, at least for one boozy evening, Achatz’s carefully staged culinary creations, which include pork rinds as big as palm fronds, weirdly reimagined gin and tonics that look like the green contents of lava lamps, and a painstakingly deconstructed Bloody Mary, which is reassembled table-side, like an elaborate magic trick.

Adam Platt

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What you need to know

Recommended DishesGiant Crispy Pork Skin; Black Truffle Explosion.

DrinksFull Bar

Noise LevelCivilized