Subway: Green, Pink to Morgan(312) 226-0868 theaviary.com41.886744 -87.651970 955 W Fulton Market St (at Morgan St) West Loop, Chicago
6pm–1am (Tue–Fri), 6pm–2am (Sat), (closed Sun, Mon)Average cocktail: $16
The question Grant Achatz's cocktail lounge poses—intentionally or not—is: When a cocktail is an intellectual exercise, how much does it matter how it tastes? Some of these drinks are exhilarating for their presentation (the Rooibos, a hot cocktail served in a vacuum-pot coffee brewer), and some, like the Buttered Popcorn, are remarkable for their flavor (yes, it really does taste like popcorn). And sure, some are like the Blueberry, a pitcher of macerated spirits that changes the longer it sits, and are remarkable in every way. But whatever strengths the individual cocktails here exhibit, the outcome after drinking them is always them same: You'll never think of a cocktail the same way again.