Siderbern's in Tampa fantastic
My wife and I were in Tampa for a birthday celebration and dined at Sidebern's last weekend. We had a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable experience. The room was filled with energy, a little loud by the bar, but it wasn't too too bad.
The "dim sum" starter menu was very inticing and our two choices were delicious (veal kung pao and cold sesame noodles). We could have stopped there, but we didn't of course.
I started with crab cakes that were light and tasty (including hints of fennel). We then moved on to two excellent fish dishes, one with red snapper and the other with grouper. Both were cleverly prepared and extrememly tasty with foams, and purees and tasty fruit accompaniments.
Despite the $33-$35 entrees, which I thought was a bit high, the food was superb. The sommelier did a great job and led us in a direction we wanted. He didn't steer us to some ungodly price range or different grape.
We enjoyed the waitor and the scene.
It's pricey but we'll be back.
Hmmm, I'll go on record with the thought that I must be the only person on the planet who didn't get a kick out of Sidebern's. I tried a wide variety of dishes and didn't even have to pick up the check, but for the price of the dinner ($200 for two people), I couldn't find the value.
The food was ok, but I found it a little pretentious and a lot overdone. Maybe I just like the basics and enjoy good food, but they are trying too hard.
Again, just my opinion.
We have these posts for our opinions. That's what makes this fun and worthwhile.
I would generally agree with you about enjoying the basics and good simple food, and my wife and I can be pretty picky about meals that cost us $185, like Sidebern's the other night.
We just couldn't find anything to complain about really, except for the overpriced fish entrees or perhaps the table of 6 young 20s females having a birthday party. Thank goodness they were on dessert by the time we got there.
If we went back we would stick to the "dim sum/tapas" menu, which we thought was cool and innovative.
I've only been to Bern's. Can someone tell me the difference in experiences between Bern's and Sidebern's? What is the ambience like at Sidebern's? How large is the space?
The ambience is very trendy, lots of young, beautiful people with edgy music. It's a bit noisy for some people's taste or very lively if you're in the mood for that. It has perhaps the most creative chef in the city and a menu to match. Prices are high, tho. It would be a special occasion place for most people.
To answer your question (from personal experience) they are like night and day. Bern's is the steakhouse-that-looks-like-a-bordello, (although i've heard they upgraded a bit in decor) with old school waitstaff - and the enormous menu and wine list. I believe they have the largest restaurant wine cellar in the U.S. (or is it the world? they have a large building about a block away which is the real wine cellar, not the one you'll see inside the restaurant on the tour). Siderbern's, on the other hand, is very modern and pretty, with flowing fabrics, a hip bar, and a daring menu to match.
I have always been impressed with Sidebern's. One special occasion in particular, we arrived about 15 mins late for our reservation, the place was packed. Yet we were seated within 15 minutes, and the attention/service we got was first rate - as if we were the only guests that night. Love the dim sum - gotta get it!
I've only been to SideBern's once. I thought it was a bit stark and loud. I did have a great martini and very interesting dessert- some kind of "Snickers" thing, but could have done better with my entree selection. I've heard some people call it California cuisine where Bern's is more traditional, upscale steakhouse. I think I prefer regular Bern's because they have a wider selection and more warmth. Both deserve a visit.
The cool thing about Bern's is that it is an "experience", not just a meal; what with the kitchen and wine cellar tour, and not to mention the desert room. Plus, Bern's is, in my humble opinion, a pretty reasonably priced place considering the quality and quantity of food. Of course, you can spend a fortune on wine, but for the food, the price is really hard to beat. Oh, and some of th room s are definetely better than others in the ambience department.
I found SideBerns just too noisy and "hep" for my 50 year old soul.