Its name suggestive of feathers and nests (indeed, in its previous life it sold home decor along with wine), Aviary has transformed into merely a wine bar and full-service restaurant. The wine list is sorted by style, each grouping represented by a suitable celebrity: Twiggy lords over one section (“You’ll dance along the catwalk with powerful citrus”), Notorious B.I.G. another (“rich in mouthfeel, like rich in rhymes”). Meanwhile, the menu invites diners to “peck,” “graze,” and “feast,” the suggested directives in relation to the size of the plates. Add the playroom colors of the interior and you’ve got a somewhat heavy-handed whimsicality that belies the seriousness (and quality) of the food. It’s not easy to do a lot of things well, but Thomas Calhoun, the former pastry chef at Lenoir, is adept at a wide range of savory dishes, from a perfectly al dente pasta tossed with duxelles to an equally well-executed risotto studded with tender Gulf shrimp to a petite lamb burger dressed with harissa aioli and pickled cucumber. There’s also a raw bar, excellent charcuterie options, and half-price bottles of wine on Wednesdays, a selection of twelve called, of course, the Dirty Dozen.
Cuisine: New American
Drinks: Beer & wine