Monday, May 6, 2013

Late Bird Gets the Awesomeness: Aviary

We had a late dinner at Aviary our first night in Portland.  It kinda knocked our socks off.  This remains my favorite meal in Portland to date.
Aviary disproves the old saying, "Too many cooks spoil the broth."  Three co-chefs -- Sarah Pliner, Jasper Shen, and Kat Whitehead -- combine their extensive New York (Ducasse, Aquavit, Jean Georges, Tabla, Aldea, 5 Ninth) and Portland (The Heathman, Giorgio's, Couvron) experience to bring you exquisite dishes without pretense.

This is NYC-quality with Portland pricing and freshness.  In other words, it's a dream come true.

Housemade sodas.
Very bubbly.  Very refreshing.  Not too sweet.

Charred octopus, scallion pancakes, green papaya, long beans, cashews ($15).
Smoky and tender paired with fresh and crisp to make bright and tasty.

Duck confit, salted black beans, figs, fennel ($17).
Gloriously salty and juicy with just the right amount of sticky and sweet.

Crispy pig ear, coconut rice, Chinese sausage, avocado ($15).
Oh.  My.  God.  This is the dish to get.  This is everything in one hot mini wok.  This is happiness and comfort on a late Friday night.

Buttermilk panna cotta, mango, passion fruit sorbet, fennel crisp ($6).
Tangy and creamy and how-is-this-only-$6?!

Cardamom rice pudding, cashews, pomegranate, saffron gelee ($6).
When this arrived at our table, I got really worried.  It reminded me of the ridiculous concoctions that my seven-year-old niece makes at Yogurtland (not good, folks, not good).  But you know what?  It worked.  It worked so incredibly well that I scraped every little bit out of the bowl.  I guess sometimes a combination of all the flavors and textures you can think of actually succeeds.

Don't miss Aviary.  Put it on your list when you go to Portland.


  1. put a bird on it. fitting name.

    i want to eat it all.

  2. Dah! I just realized we never ate there, although we always wanted to. We did get to Le Pigeon, which I think is its sister restaurant. (Maybe?) Anyhow, this is definitely on our list the next time we get up there.

    1. No. Le Pigeon's sister restaurant is Little Bird (which will be featured next week). ;)

    2. Ahhhhh, THAT'S it! Damn Portland putting birds on everything. ;) Looking forward to your review!

  3. Mmm. I could drool just thinking about those tasty, crispy little bits of deliciousness (aka pig ears.) Must go back!

  4. lol at all the bird talk. Oh, Portland...

    1. I hate birds! Well, I like eating birds. That's about it.


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