I like the idea of Aviary. I like the food at Aviary. I should probably eat there more but it never really comes to mind when I’m feeling like a bit of an extravagant dinner. Maybe it’s because the last time I ate there it was after a week of gourmet feasting for a story I had to write and I couldn’t really face another rich meal; I don’t think I enjoyed the food as much as I should. And there’s something about the dining room that gives it a weird atmosphere—I much prefer the bar space at the back. I know, it’s probably just me, I’ll try harder.
I am, however, looking forward to their next—and last, for the time being—Chinese pop-up dinner (they call it that but it’s really a menu switch out as the chefs don’t change). It’s a prix fixe, family-style menu. Thirty-five bucks seems reasonable for what you get—10 dishes that include pork and shrimp wontons in chili oil, Nanjing style salted duck, pork xiao long bao (soup dumplings) and beef noodle soup. The bubble tea cocktails created by Aviary’s bartender also sound particularly appealing. Apparently the Chinese comfort food idea (as well as being popular) is a testing ground for a soup dumpling restaurant that the Aviary chefs would like to open in the future, which is something to look forward to. Aviary, 1733 NE Alberta, 287-2400, August 27