Portland Dining Month 2015 Aviary

I covered in a previous post what Portland Dining month / March 2015 is and a few highlights from the amazing list of more than 100 restaurants in the Portland area offering the $29 3 course special. Today, I’m going to share my first Portland Dining Month 2015 meal, which was at Aviary. Aviary is located in the Alberta District at 1733 NE Alberta Street and offers eclectic Northwest ingredients combined with Asian flavors fusion food.

This was not my first time at Aviary – but during dinner service (the only meal they serve), the restaurant has really dim romantic lighting which doesn’t do well with my regular camera-phone photos. This time though, I brought my backup camera so was able to absorb a little bit more light through the lens. Although there are no vegetarian options on the Portland Dining menu, the regular Aviary menu has almost half a dozen options to choose from.

You can make reservations online at OpenTable, and this is recommended because I’ve heard of others dropping in and them being full!

Now without further ado, my Portland Dining Month 2015 Aviary menu selections, with my choice being in the bold.

First, the complimentary bread service at Aviary is wonderful as instead of just bread with butter, they offered a bagna cauda (butter, garlic, anchovies) for dipping the bread. Obviously because this has anchovies it’s not vegetarian so if that’s important to you, you’ll have to pass on the dip. One of the two breads on the plate was an olive bread.
complimentary bread service at Aviary is wonderful as instead of just bread with butter, they offered a bagna cauda (butter, garlic, anchovies) for dipping the bread. Obviously because this has anchovies it's not vegetarian so if that's important to you, you'll have to pass on the dip. One of the two breads on the plate was an olive bread.

First course (choose one)

Dungeness crab chawanmushi with bone marrow, sea urchin, Asian pear, snap peas and truffle vinaigrette
-OR-
Warm vegetable salad with romanesco, pumpkin, Brussels sprouts, lime-pickle vinaigrette and black garlic
Aviary first course of Dungeness crab chawanmushi with bone marrow, sea urchin, Asian pear, snap peas and truffle vinaigrette for Portland Dining Month 2015 Aviary first course of Dungeness crab chawanmushi with bone marrow, sea urchin, Asian pear, snap peas and truffle vinaigrette for Portland Dining Month 2015
Seriously, this dish alone is worth a visit. I was sitting at the Chef’s Counter facing the open kitchen and man, chef Sarah Pliner was a BOSS whipping these out with somehow being able to pick up bowls of the chawanmushi from the steamy water pan just with tongs, and then flame on with a fiery torch. My favorite course.

Second course (choose one)

Miso braised beef short rib with taro root, yuzukoshō slaw, and shitake mushroom
-OR-
Pan-seared salmon with cauliflower, saffron, green apple, trout roe and American caviar
Aviary first course of Miso braised beef short rib with taro root, yuzukoshō slaw, and shitake mushroom for Portland Dining Month 2015

Third course (choose one)

Brown Butter Cake with whipped ricotta and rhubarb and basil Note this is different than what is listed on the Portland Dining Month website which listed a strudel, but I think the brown butter cake is even better.
-OR-
Chocolate budino with butterscotch ice cream and sour cherry
Aviary third course of Brown Butter Cake with whipped ricotta and rhubarb and basil for Portland Dining Month 2015 Aviary third course of Brown Butter Cake with whipped ricotta and rhubarb and basil for Portland Dining Month 2015

Extras

Since I was passing on the salad, I thought I might need a little bit more vegetable. And it’s March = St Patrick’s is this month. So I rationalized the Aviary cocktail of the Canicule with Bombay Sapphire East Gin, Ransom Dry Vermouth, Sauvignon Blanc, Pineapple Shrub, Cilantro, and Jalapeno. Because it’s green. It’s not a spicy drink, despite the presence of jalapeno somewhere – it was much more on the cilantro side. If you like cilantro, this is the drink for you. I didn’t know it at the time I ordered it, but this was the cocktail highlighted by Portland Monthly in their Best Bars 2014 article and most recently in their list of The 10 Most Interesting Cocktails in PDX Right Now in their March 2015 issue!
Aviary cocktail of the Canicule with Bombay Sapphire East Gin, Ransom Dry Vermouth, Sauvignon Blanc, Pineapple Shrub, Cilantro, Jalapeno

Also you must order this Crispy Pig Ear with coconut rice, chinese sausage, and avocado. I was dining alone because veggie F is not too keen on the idea of pig ear (and I knew dining alone pretty much guaranteed a seat at the Chef’s Counter – I and several other ladies dining alone or in twos chatted a bit). So ordering this, I knew this meant I would have leftovers, because the 3 courses are already more than enough for dinner.  But I’ve taken back this dish more than once and I love having it as a leftover the next day, even though the crispyness of the dish of will be gone (I nibble on as much of the crispyness as possible at the restaurant). I always get this dish,  it is one of the Aviary signature dishes and I urge you to get it too.
Aviary dish of Crispy Pig Ear with coconut rice, chinese sausage, avocado

Aviary on Urbanspoon

Next on my Portland Dining Month list is Laurelhurst Market, which I’ll share on Friday!

Where have you dined or are planning to dine this month for Portland Dining Month? 

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Comments

  1. That crab dish looks amazing!!!!

  2. this food looks absolutely delish! craving that bread!
    http://www.ladiesinnavy.com

  3. I LOVE Aviary! One of the best restaurants in Portland, IMHO. The crispy pig ears…so good. Your cilantro drink looks good too. I love cilantro and will have to try that.

  4. I went to Aviary too for PDM!! We ordered very similar! 🙂 it was SO good.

  5. Still need to try that place. Looks delicious. I get over to that neighborhood more often lately. Will be showing quilts at Modern Domestic in June. 🙂

  6. Mm, that dessert looks phenomenal! I love eating vicariously through you.

  7. I’m so out of the Portland dining scene…I had never even heard of Aviary! But it does look delicious!

  8. Oh that cake looks AMAZING! Yum!

  9. Love your review, as always; makes me realize that we really need to get out to new places more often. Yup, we are in a perpetual food root 😉

    I am not sure about the pig ears – even so they look crunchy and delicious but think that it would not be for me.

    P.S.: The cocktail looks absolutely amazing.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Aviary had me at their first course option… Their food is consistently good and surprising with their twists on Asian inspiration mixed with unusual flavor combinations. And, they take reservations on Opentable. Update! I went and posted a photo recap here […]

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