First of all I need to get something off my chest. Something that has nothing to do with food and shouldn’t reflect in my review of Alfies. It does bug the hell out of me, though. Alfie’s, Alfie’s what have you got against apostrophes? These small winks of punctuation may mean nothing to you but they really are quite important. To geeks like me. Now maybe there is more than one Alfie, so Alfies’ would be fine, but I did see a mirror with Alphie’s on it and the website celebrates the apostrophe. Worse than than – Dublins? “Dublins best cocktails,” I know that I’m pedantic but this gets under my skin. A quick proof of the menu would also have shown up “availaable”.
Anyway, that out in the open let’s (lets?) get to the review. We’ve had a few miserable winter evenings this past week so I was in the mood to brighten things up when my partner and I met up with a couple of mates. It was between Christmas and New Year so party-time was still in the air and Alfies/Alfies’/Alfie’s was just the ticket. Cocktails for a fiver? Spell it anyway you want to, yum!
We were greeted by a lovely, friendly waitress who proved a bit scatter-brained later in the meal but she was so genuinely nice that it didn’t matter a bit. We sat and were not asked if our coats could be taken. Sorry, a major no-no on any evening but on a wet night we were left with dripping coats stuffed behind our backs. Not pleasant.
Awaiting the arrival of our friends, I decided to go margarita mad and was pleasantly surprised; this was as good as you’ll get around town and for half the price at just EUR5. I was enjoying it so much that, when our friends arrived, it was cocktails all-round.
For starters, we weren’t sure what we wanted to went for a taster plate recommended by the waitress, which was a combination of nachos, pate, camembert, garlic bread and dips. All delicious and the perfect cocktail partner.
Myself and one of my mates went for the chargrilled lamb chops, “Tender lamb chops char-grilled to order and served on creamy mash, buttered French beans, Cumberland sauce, rosemary jus”. I was expecting one chop but got three perfectly-cooked, juicy chops which were a gorgeous change from all of the chicken I had over Christmas – scrumptious.
My partner was in heaven as Alfies has a complete vegetarian menu, so she was spoilt for choice for a change. She plumped for vegetarian tagliatelle, “Fresh tagliatelli (sic) tossed in olive oil and garlic infused with roasted vegetables and topped with fresh basil”. As usual with pasta, the portion was too large but she was delighted with herself, giving it five-out-of-five.
Our other friend chose the bangers and mash, “Garlic and chive sausages served with a carmelised onion mash Crowned with crunchy baby carrots and a rich rosemary jus”, as she was feeling a bit iffy and wanted something to hug her as she ate it. Her grin at then end of the meal said it all.
We were too full for desserts but the cocktails kept coming and, as busy as Alfies was, we were never rushed. Alfies has the warmth and welcome of an old-school Irish restaurant, where you could sit for hours ordering courses an hour apart and never be hurried.
For two courses each, three glasses of wine, a brandy and what must have been around seven cocktails, the bill came to EUR168. There are few restaurants selling food as good for so little. Now just get your menu proof-reading sorted and you’ll be perfect.
Alfies is on South William Street, Dublin 2
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