Pete Wells wrote about restaurants that aim too high with their cocktails for the New York Times. This is his advice on ordering cocktails at fancy restaurants:
Don’t order from a list that looks seriously out of season; a bar that’s paying close attention won’t serve rhubarb bellinis in January. And don’t order from the list at all if what you really want is a Sazerac, a French 75 or another standard. Restaurants rarely list them, but ordering an off-the-menu classic is not like asking for a bowl of chili at Le Bernardin. You won’t get any dirty looks, but you will probably get a good drink.