The old school charm at Alfred's Steakhouse, with huge chandeliers from the 1930's, deep red walls, and big drinks and steaks is legit, having been in business for 84 years. Tucked into the list of mostly classic cocktails, is the impressive Upper East Side ($10, Angel's Envy Bourbon, Lillet Blanc, Cointreau, dry vermouth, cherry), a drink bar manager Louis Riviere came up with when he was at home trying to ease a Manhattan craving, but was out of sweet vermouth.
This cocktail, like all the drinks at Alfred's, gets mixed in glass shaker that gets left at your table, much like diners sometimes leave you the tin cup with your milkshake. For the price, the drink is generous, but you'll want to drink the first couple of sips quickly to make sure the leftover don't over-dilute.
While the cocktail doesn't get discounted at their fantastic Fogged Up Fridays happy hour (every Friday 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.), the Upper East Side goes fantastically well with the Blue Cheese Sliders ($6, house ground aged beef, blue cheese, caramelized onions). You'll be tempted to order a second or one of the huge $6 martinis, and if you do, you'll understand what gets fogged up by indulging: you. Isn't that what Fridays are for?
The Upper East Side
2 ½ oz. Angel's Envy Bourbon
1/4 oz. Lillet Blanc
1/4 oz. dry vermouth
1/4 oz. Contreau
Combine all in a shaker with ice, shake and serve in a cocktail with a cherry.
Alfred's Steakhouse, 659 Merchant (at Kearny), 781-7058