Put down the Trader Joe’s brand and that bottle you bought only because the label looked interesting. An Austin original is bringing a whole new twist on wine night and this time, they're pulling out all the necessities.
Story by Elise Horsak
Photos by Alyssa Flores
Aviary Wine & Kitchen on South Lamar has reopened its doors after a mass renovation that added a raw seafood bar, a full kitchen and a newly revamped bar. What was once a décor and furniture store that also sold wine has now turned into the ideal spot to sit and enjoy meticulously paired vinos and food for a reasonable price. Their only rule here: the wine comes first and everything else will follow.
With a happy hour that offers $10 off select bottles and $2 off drafts and wine by the glass, that convenience store bottle is starting to look a little less appealing. ORANGE Magazine has some insight on what a night at Aviary is like.
The relaxation from sitting on the patio on a cool, fall day is kicked up a notch as the twinkle lights shine overhead and the evening turns to happy hour. The waiter walks up to take orders and later returns with a glass of Riojanas “Puerta Viejas” Crianza Rioja (Red, Spain) and another of Samuel Baron Sauvignon Blanc (White, France).
As stated before: wine first, and then everything else followed. To start off, try an appetizer of spiced almonds and herb marinated olives. Even those who don’t like olives will agree that these are the perfect appetizer. They are not too filling but still packed to the brim with flavor.
The waiter then begins to talk about the selected cheeses and meats, speaking with so much detail you would think he was telling his own life story. To pair with the Spanish red and the fruity taste, he recommends the Beehive Seahive, a cow’s milk cheese that is made with sea salt and honey and paired with a date and raisin chutney. The cheese creates the perfect blend of sweet and salty that could only be made better by their warm bread.
To add a touch of the sea to go with the white, order oysters since they are included in the happy hour at $1 off. Sourcing seafood from the east, west and gulf coasts, Aviary has the potential to convert anyone into a shellfish fan.
With their laid back décor and friendly atmosphere, Aviary makes their customers feel like they are enjoying a glass of wine at home while still offering the service and wine expertise of an upscale restaurant. Sharable plates, quality wine and an ambiance that fosters good company, Aviary has everything it needs to become a regular hangout for Austin’s wine connoisseurs.