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Mar 18, 2012 04:18 PM

Where to eat after drinks at the Aviary??

I would love some help in finding a place to eat that is somewhat close to the Aviary. My wife does not want to go to Naha because she has been once before and wants to try something else. I called the Girl and the Goat and there is nothing available. We are going on a Wednesday night in about a month. There are 4 people going. We want something nice but not stuffy. We are going to Alinea the next day.
Any suggestions??


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  1. I really enjoy Homaro Cantu's iNG restaurant (sister restaurant to Moto). iNG is about a two minutes walk from Aviary, so very convenient and generally has availability (they are on Open Table). They feature a six course tasting menu with alcohol pairings for $75 (includes food and drinks). The pairings are small pours, so you will not be too boozed up from them; they are a combination of beers, wines, and cocktails. They also use Miracle Berry's to alter the taste of your food (Miracle Berry changes sour to sweet), so you eat some of the food, take a dose of the Miracle Berry and then notice the change in taste of the food and alcohol. Fun, unique experience. Very casual, fun atmosphere with attentive service (but the servers are more friendly and casual than formal). The food is not the best quality food I have had, but is good and fun and interesting.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Gonzo70

      I think the whole Moto thing is gimmicky and often silly rather than an emphasis on enhancing food, but maybe that's just me.

      I love Publican (and have never had problems with the noise level - maybe I'm going deaf in my old age, who knows?). Also recommend Maudes.

      1. re: chicgail

        Publican = loud in a fun way.
        Nellcote = loud in a hipster fun way.
        Girl and the Goat = loud in a slightly unpleasant way.
        Nightwood (brunch) = loud in a "I'm screaming at you across the table" way.

        1. re: uhockey

          In each of my three visits to Publican, the noise level fell somewhere between "I'm screaming at you across the table" and " is there an Apache helicopter landing on the roof?"

          1. re: aburkavage

            wow. Sorry to hear that. I've never noticed it that loud.

        2. re: chicgail

          I was not impressed with Moto, but actually really enjoy iNG. In addition to being a fraction of the cost, the service seems to be so much better. Everybody seemed real uptight and impersonal at Moto while at iNG the servers are friendly, laid back and cool. I doubt I will return to Moto but do enjoy regularly frequenting iNG. Even though they are sister restaurants, the vibe and experience is very different. The food at iNG is far from top notch, but it is interesting, good and at $75 for six courses with alcohol pairings is a nice value.

      2. If Girl and the Goat is not available, what about Publican (very loud though) or Maude's? Maybe Sepia? Piccolo Sogno?

        1. It's not close but we really enjoyed going to Resi's Bierstube after Aviary. The contrasts in food and drink were stunning. Great German food and bee!

          1. Publican is a great choice, and for something more current/trendy I really enjoyed Nellcote. The service needs a little work, but the food shines.


            5 Replies
            1. re: uhockey

              Hey uhockey. I checked out Nellcote's site and it looked very good. I assume it is more of a small plates type place? Is it a communal seating place as well? How many plates would the typical person need to order to be full? (I say typical because I know you can put away serious amounts of food!)
              Would you recommend Nellcote over the Publican? I have yet to try either of them. I have wanted to go to the Publican but always seem to find somewhere else that intrigues me a bit more.
              My mother in law is touting Topolobampo but I would rather do something else. If I have great recommendations from people whose opinions I respect on here, I have no worry to overrule her!

              1. re: naughtyb

                To be honest, Topo is really good too.

                I went to Nellcote with a friend and we ordered a total of 10 dishes between us - a "comfortable" amount, in my opinion, especially as I'd already eaten a lot that day. Between the food and a cocktail each we walked out of there under $60/pp having eaten:

                Crudites with garlic aioli (Amuse)
                Baguette, Brioche, Focaccia, Whipped Cultured Butter
                Saffron Risotto with Fava Beans, Bone Marrow, Pecorino, Gold Leaf
                Alaskan Halibut, Soft Scrambled Eggs, Piperade, Sturgeon Caviar
                Foie Gras Torchon with Brioche, Marasca Cherries, Pickled Pistachios
                Lamb, Grilled Loin, Braised Neck, Gnocchi, Olive Marmalade, Manchego, Sofritto
                Radiatore with Duck Leg, Hen of Woods, Romano Beans, Cracklings
                Buffalo Mozzarella Pizza with Tomato Sauce, Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
                Baba Au Rhum with Bachelor’s Jam and Crème Chantilly
                Ice Cream – Salted Caramel, Stracciatella, La Colombe

                Service was good from our primary server, Ruth, but (sadly) quite bad from the 'back-staff' who seemed lost most of the time. I assume they'll grow into the service, but plate descriptions were awkward to nonexistant.

                Seating is ~1/8 communal and 7/8 private tables, I'd say.

                In terms of what is better - Nellcote vs. Publican - it is very hard to say, but I consider Publican a bit more rustic and I think Kahan is a genius so I'd probably give the upper hand to Publican.


                1. re: naughtyb

                  Publican was great last night. We had oysters (with insanely good housemade crackers!), spicy pork rinds, the full charcuterie plate with njuda (!) and their awesome pork pie and head cheese and more, a pickle plate (corn, green beans, bread and butter pickles), the pork rillettes with cherry preserves (!!), fried cauliflower with olives, a shredded Brussels sprout salad with burrata, fried clams with sweet potato and kale, and a suckling pig special. We stuffed ourselves. A meal of epic proportions.

                  It's also two blocks from the Aviary, so super convenient.

                  1. re: kathryn

                    Nellcote is equally close, but in the other direction. The La Colombe on the corner is another nice draw. Really, can't go wrong with either.

                    Kathryn - I really hope you got the waffle for dessert at Publican. It is shocking how good that thing is.


                    1. re: uhockey

                      No waffle at The Publican--we were completely stuffed.