$38 for a Bloody Mary? I’m Calling BS on this Absurd Tourist Trap

$38 Bloody Mary


I’ve been reading about the new Aviary Bar (brought to us by Grant Achatz from Chicago). It recently opened in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel at Columbus Circle.

Strangely, try as I might, I just can’t whip up any enthusiasm to check it out. I’ve asked a few friends and they seem to be equally unenthused. Everything I read suggests it’ll be incredibly pretentious. Besides dropping hundreds of dollars on a cocktail and a few tidbits of food, it also sounds like it will be a huge hassle to get in.

That said, from a trend perspective I am intrigued by the “In the Rocks” cocktails where the drink is served inside an actual ice sphere that’s broken open at the table (see pic below).

I am curious at my attitude about it. Normally,  I can’t wait to check out new things but in this instance it is just not speaking to me. Feels like there is too much artifice involved.

Some of it may also be that I am drinking less – altho this might be the perfect place for me, since I could only afford one or two cocktails.

Perhaps the casualization of hospitality has sunk its tentacles into me too deeply. Most restaurants today – including very good ones – are very informal. In today’s more relaxed environmont, the Aviary sticks out like a sore thumb. It just annoys the hell out of me and I need to get to the bottom of it.

While I try to figure it out, see pics below of the Aviary and its cocktail offerings. And check out their website, I’ll be the first to admit it’s the most gorgeous food porn.


Aviary cocktails

In the Rocks about to cracked open

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