Side Street Cafe Florence MA
Anybody try Side Street Cafe in Florence yet?
I've been there a three times already and had one fabulous meal, one very good meal, and one horrendous meal. Go figure.
Here's the scoop: they have 2 killer apps: the smoked shrimp/crabcakes and the pan fried oysters. The oysters were perfect size and so fresh. I could have eaten a dozen shrimp/crabcakes they were so good. A nice crisp salad comes gratis with all meals. The first time I had grilled skirt steak..very beefy and spiced nicely in a red wine sauce. Very Good. The grilled salmon was among the best I've EVER had anywhere..and I've eaten and enjoyed alot of salmon. Just fabulous. The most recent meal, the semi-boneless roast chicken was an unmitigated disaster. I could not believe it came from the same kitchen. The chicken was slightly undercooked, tough and rubbery, the skin flabby, and it was hardly semi-boneless. Almost inedible. Bleech. Maybe it was a bad night, but it was crowded and so I ate some anyways, paid the bill and left. Hope they get their chicken act together because I love a great roast chicken!
The desserts were fine. The service friendly and helpful. Really a nice place with nice folks, rubber chicken notwithstanding.
No liquor or beer/wine license yet so we brought our own and had fun. No corkage fee.
So, 'hounds..what you say about this place?
Our last visit was fine. Last night, however, was anything but We went with friends to celebrate a birthday.This place just cannot get it together. We had to go up to the bar to get our wine because the waitress was too busy. In the corner of the smallish room was a violinist and harpist. For some ungodly reason, they were hooked up to an amplifier. So, conversation was difficult at best. Many people were standing around, watching us eat - I gather they were there to listen to the music, maybe family/friends of the musicians. It was very annoying, and way too loud. The appetizers were delicious; but, they were out of the wine we ordered and the stuffed calamari on the menu was no longer actually *on* the menu because 'the recipe didn't work out.' And then, there was the house-ground burger that three of us ordered for dinner. After a few bites, we realized there was a very off-putting taste and smell. I could not put my finger on it. I asked what was put in the meat and was told Worcestershire sauce and oil. I suspect the oil was rancid, or the meat not handled properly. Anyway, we couldn't eat the burgers - no apologies, but they did take them off the bill. Our waitress, a 'manager,' was horrible. Won't be going back, ever.