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Sidecar on 5th ave in South Slope?

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jerryj Jun 28, 2007 07:56 AM

I have seen the signage on the outside of this place (around 15th st) forever, but still hasn't opened - anyone know what it is and why it's still not open?

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  1. m
    melbar RE: jerryj Jul 2, 2007 09:38 AM

    I know what it is.... Sidecar is a bar/restaurant that's going to be opened by two brothers, one was the bartender at O'Connors and the other a chef who's worked at Blue Ribbon. I've been inside and spoken to them. The space is beautiful and comfortable, and they're gonna serve a straightforward menu of American classics done with a few extra details and spins. I think they've been delayed because the guys are super perfectionists, and this is their dream place. I'm looking forward to checking it out when they do finally open, should be any day now.

    2 Replies
    1. re: melbar
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      m de p RE: melbar Jul 9, 2007 08:08 PM

      sidecar is officially open as of tomorrow. I went to the soft opening this past weekend, which was spectacular. definitely get the bean dip with bacon! and the peach cobbler (which is the only dessert on the menu) is the best i've ever tasted. really.

      i'll be there again this weekend. it's BYOB for now. still waiting for liquor license....

      1. re: m de p
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        redgirl RE: m de p Sep 9, 2007 11:37 AM

        i hope they actually make a sidecar cocktail...a good one is hard to find.

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      AlwaysHungry RE: jerryj Jul 14, 2007 07:29 PM

      I ate there last night and enjoyed the experience. I had their BLT Soup and their Sidecar Sandwich. Their soup is made with escarole, bacon and chunks of tomato in chicken stock. I liked it but since I could probably duplicate it at home, I don't see myself craving it anytime soon. The Sidecar sandwich was thinly sliced granny smith apple, onion, gruyere cheese, bacon and turkey on toasted sourdough bread. Again, while it's a good sandwich it's something I can do at home. My only real complaint was the shoestring fries that came with the sandwich were too salty. However, I'm going to recommend everyone to go there and here's why.... since they don't expect their liquor license until next week, the only thing they had to drink (besides water) was Lemonade. Right now it's strictly bring your own . Perhaps it's not the most efficient way to do things but the bartender was mixing each glass of lemonade as it was ordered. He spent several minutes on each glass. I saw some muddling and measuring and shaking with ice, The first glass had good color, strong lemon flavor and wasn't too sweet. The second glass was a good as the first. If they are paying this much attention to mixing lemonade, I cant wait to try their mixed drinks. I'm also looking forward to trying their fried chicken and grilled fish.

      1 Reply
      1. re: AlwaysHungry
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        chestercheetah RE: AlwaysHungry Jul 19, 2007 01:38 PM

        I went there last week. The fried chicken was very good. The mixed root mash was even better. It's a great comfort food place and worth going to on nights when you don't want to cook. I was also very impressed with the jukebox selection - eclectic and unusual. It's a perfect chilled out neighborhood place. I would also point out that they are open very late so it's a great place to end a night. I believe they (and their kitchen) will be open until 4am once they have their liquor license.

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        bklyn_j RE: jerryj Sep 9, 2007 05:16 AM

        It’s hard to put into words the sublime experience of spending an evening at the new Sidecar restaurant on 5th avenue in Brooklyn last night. Authenticity and quality by their very nature cannot be manifested by will – irrespective of any factor – including money. Sidecar is basking in the light in both of these qualities without drawing any attention to the fact.

        The scaffolding surrounding the building next door and other similar constructions on adjoining blocks speak to the continuing growth in this part of the neighborhood and with it - more mainstream retail and dining trends availing and introducing themselves on a weekly basis.

        Sidecar is the antidote to the phenomenon. Sitting at the kitchen counter, eating a burger that will ultimately end the ‘park slope’s best’ debate and having selection to fine local taps and an enormous bar. Everything from my perspective was right with the world. They got everything right.

        Burger, BLT Soup, Fries, Cobbler, Service all exceptional. It’s was lively in the bar, things are more quiet in the back. While the menu may be interpreted as “comfort food”, I see the menu as American Bistro-ish, prepared with too much detail and care to fall into the prior category.

        9 Replies
        1. re: bklyn_j
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          Nehna RE: bklyn_j Sep 15, 2007 09:32 PM

          Agree, wonderful place. Went in tonight and we had the BLT soup and a gravlachs special to start with and then both had burgers following brklyn_i's suggestion above. All was perfectly prepared, esp that soup, really excellent (very generous use of bacon...can't fault it). Had some great cocktails too, I had the Sticky Fingers and loved it, ditto my husband with the Moscow Mule. Chef and all staff were very friendly (we sat at the counter by the open kitchen).

          1. re: bklyn_j
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            imsohungry RE: bklyn_j Sep 17, 2007 11:05 AM

            I really wanted to love this place. It's a cool room and the service was very good. However, the food just wasn't anything special. The hamburger was just o.k., but the bun was visibly burnt; the fries too salty. My SO's ribs (the special of the day) were just o.k. as well, but, the accompanying mac& cheese was dried out, not cheesy.

            We sat at the kitchen bar and observed that the chef was notably flustered. Dude, you're churning out simple comfort food (which, don't get me wrong, when it's good, is a delight), not haute cuisine. If you're going to have a simple menu, it should be top-notch. Please step it up to match the room!

            1. re: imsohungry
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              bhill RE: imsohungry Sep 17, 2007 12:55 PM

              I ate there with a large party a few weeks ago. The experience was not good. The space is nice, but the largest table seats six which is weird for a gastropub. It also gets really smoky in there so expect to walk out smelling of food. As for the food, it's ok, but nothing more than that. I ordered the club and the whole thing was so dense and dry I had trouble eating it. A lot of stuff came out overcooked.

              I'd go there again to hang out at the bar, but I it's not a place I'd be excited about going to.

              1. re: imsohungry
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                Nehna RE: imsohungry Sep 17, 2007 01:41 PM

                hmm sounds like it can be inconsistent.

                the night we were there (a saturday night), the chef seemed pretty calm to me. We were sitting right in front of him and he was very chatty and at ease. We had none of the burned bun or salty fry issues either.

                1. re: Nehna
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                  mmm...food RE: Nehna Sep 19, 2007 01:24 PM

                  I've been to sidecar 3 times and have found it to be extremely inconsistent. The first time I went there, I had the fried chicken, which was very good (not quite as good as Blue Ribbon but very good nonetheless). The second time I went there my wife and I split the white bean dip, which was tasty, if a bit dry. I had the club sandwich sans bacon and my wife had the tacos. The white bread for the club sandwich was stale and my fries were way too salty. My wife's tacos fell apart (probably because they grilled the corn tacos on a grill rather than cooking them on a griddle, thus making them brittle). The filling was great but the tacos themselves were dry. The third time I went I got the fried chicken to go. The place was packed when I got there and my fried chicken was inedible - extremely salty and burnt (I only realized after I got home otherwise I would've complained).

                  After this third experience, we have decided to go to sidecar only for drinks (which are excellent) and the occassional dessert (the cobbler is great).

                  The chef seems like a great guy and I wish him all the best. I want to support this place. The decor is great, the concept is great and it has a great vibe. I just hope they can sort out the inconsistent food and expand their menu.

                  1. re: mmm...food
                    TBird RE: mmm...food Sep 19, 2007 01:26 PM

                    are they still byob?

                    1. re: TBird
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                      mmm...food RE: TBird Sep 19, 2007 01:29 PM

                      They have a liquor license and serve beer/mixed drinks/wine. I'm not sure if they would still allow you to bring your own - I kind of doubt it.

                      1. re: mmm...food
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                        cuisine RE: mmm...food Sep 21, 2007 01:30 PM

                        We went last week and the food was awful. Loved the bartender and the drinks, the waitress was very nice, the atmosphere very nice but the food just bad. Salmon half cooked, fried chicken dried out and the cobbler just hard chunks of peaches.

                        1. re: mmm...food
                          TBird RE: mmm...food Oct 11, 2007 11:26 AM

                          $20 corkage, fyi.

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                B71 RE: jerryj Sep 22, 2007 08:39 PM

                Just got back from my first visit, and it was very good. Mellow crowd for a Saturday, surprisingly it wasn't very busy. Oysters and crostini with liver were great, and the fried chicken was crisp and juicy. I loved the cocktails and the well-balanced proportions . (I love quaffing a stiff drink, but I also enjoy sifting through the flavors of a great cocktail.) All in all a great time and myself and B71ette will return. Full Disclosure: Bart, one of the brothers, has served me drinks in the neighborhood for a long time, but I feel that at least tonight, my glasses were not particularly rose.

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                  zacfi RE: jerryj Sep 29, 2007 06:49 PM

                  Based on this thread, and the posted menu, I figured this would be worth a trip up from Ditmas Park with my wife and 3 kids. The kids (14, 10 and 10) are pretty adventurous eaters, but still like burgers and fries. Their favorite burger place I refuse to go to anymore, Johnny Macks, and for some reason they don't like the Farm on Adderly near us even though they make a decent burger.

                  Everything about this place just seemed right. The decor when you walk in, the hostess, the waitress (especially nice), the music (not so loud you can't hear yourself think). And the food. My burger was perfect, charred but still rare enough even though we always order medium-well, the fries were great, the pickle was even something to mention. One daughter ordered the salmon and finished it, surprising for a kid to order fish and then actually eat it. My other daughter had the oysters with me and loved them. I thought she would have one and leave the rest to me. Oh well...

                  In the end every plate was cleaned, if not by the person that ordered it.

                  And one other thing, from Ditmas Park it is an easy trip up and then down 15th St and back on 16th. And more importantly, we parked in front. Parking down around Carroll/Garfield/First along 5th is impossible these days.

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                    chocolatechip RE: jerryj Oct 21, 2007 04:38 PM

                    I went to Sideacar recently for the first time after hearing great things about the food and atmosphere. I have to say that I was not diappointed. The service was friendly and the environment was very comfortable. I had oysters and the white bean dip wich were both amazing. I had the fried chicken for my main course and despite neg reviews below, i thought it was juicy and delicious. There's a few kinks that I'm sure will be worked out with time and experience, but overall...worth trying!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: chocolatechip
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                      theroman_empire RE: chocolatechip May 29, 2008 10:46 PM

                      I just had to revive this old post.
                      Around 9:30 this evening we were on our way home and passed by Sidecar. After a quick look at the brief but appealing menu (and great cocktail list) we decided to have dinner instead of scrounging something up at home. Good decision.
                      We had half a dozen Malpeque oysters to start, really wonderful, crisp and fresh with mignonette. For our mains we chose two specials, salade Lyonnaise and mussels with shallots and white wine. Both were perfectly prepared, simple and delicious. A few pints of Sixpoint and the bill came to an unbelievably reasonable $46!
                      The menu bears a striking resemblance to Blue Ribbon, the scene of many disappointing, mediocre and super expensive meals. Oysters, pate, fried chicken, steak frites?
                      The hours are also eerily similar, kitchen open until 4am?
                      Fortunately the ambience and the service bear no resemblance whatsoever to Blue Ribbon. The service was perfect, unpretentious and friendly.
                      In my opinion Sidecar triumphs every place where Blue Ribbon fails. I love the concept of being able to eat well when everything else is pretty much closed. I also love the fact that Sidecar looks and feels like a comfortable bar. No pretense, just great food and drinks.

                      1. re: theroman_empire
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                        detour RE: theroman_empire May 31, 2008 11:00 PM

                        FYI... the chef/co-owner used to be a chef at Blue Ribbon.

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                      pslopian RE: jerryj Sep 8, 2008 07:41 AM

                      Hi everyone,
                      Just want to add on - went here on Friday night, no problems at all getting a table and had an absolutely lovely meal - the burger was so delicious, perfectly cooked (exactly medium rare... in fact, I don't think I've ever had a burger better cooked to order) with thin, salty, crispy fries that hit the spot. We also had a starter special of house cured gravlax, which was buttery and silky. The winner, though, was the vietnamese "bahn de" which was so perfectly refreshing - just the right amounts of pate, pork, pickles and a hint of mayo. The perfect way to usher in fall and (regretfully) bid a fond fairwell to summer. YUM.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: pslopian
                        FastEddie RE: pslopian Sep 23, 2008 12:37 PM

                        Went in for the first time this past Saturday and waited about 20 minutes at the bar for a table. Had a couple of Six Point IPAs to kill the time. Shared the mussels for an appy and had the fried chicken with mashed and collard greens. All was very good. Bar tender and waitress were nice too.

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