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May 15, 2008 05:34 PM

Looking for update on Sideberns

I haven't been since the chef change and was wondering if there's any noticeable change in the food/restaurant since then....was thinking of heading up that way; but might not if it's not as good as it used to be. I couldn't find any updates about it on the board.

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  1. I'm curious to hear, too. We haven't been there in months ourselves...

    1. Topping!
      I'd like an update too, they used to be my favorite "special occasion" place...

      1. Um, I ate there shortly after the Chef left, on a Sunday, I believe. It's been several months now so I don't remember the meal entirely but I do remember being let down by the dim sum. But honestly, you should go try it. Michael Buttafacolli(?) if he's indeed still there, has worked in the Side Bern's kitchen for years and with(former) Chef Pierola long before Side Bern's. I think it's fair to say he's quite capable and you should give it a go. I would certainly return if I could afford it as I don't think the lifeless dim sum was a fair gage of the entire experience. And, really, if we don't support restaurants like SideBern's, which is in a very small class of Tampa Bay restaurants, where does that leave us?

        1. Zook:

          We went at the end of March of this year, on a busy Saturday night, and again a few weeks ago for drinks on a Friday night. We spent $200.00 for two on the dinner (with only one inexpensive bottle of wine) in March and were not impressed by the food at those prices. We had several dim-sum plates, two cold apps, and a fish entrée that was close to $40.00 if I recall correctly. We were disappointed with the entrée, and less let down by the dim sum and the cold apps. (Did you have any entrée, loveinmytummy? I am curious because the “lifeless” dim-sum we had was, in an absolute sense, just that, until you compared it to the entrée we had. Then it suddenly seemed pretty good . . .) Sadly, my first visit was in March and I never got the chance to go when the previous chef was at the helm.

          In short, although I agree with loveinmytummy’s assessment that Tampa does not have enough of these places and that they need to be supported, I also wonder: “At what price?” Sure, the place is beautiful, and the service both times was lovely, but the food, in my opinion, does nothing to back up that price tag. Nothing sang: not at $9, not at $20, and not at even at close to $40. I just looked at the “sample” menu now online at their website, and not a single entrée listed is over $40.00. This was certainly not the case when we visited at the end of March. I remember that many entrees were over $40.00, and at the end of the night, I remember thinking that nothing we tasted (except the hand-pressed berry martini) was in the league of a restaurant whose entrees comfortable flirted with a $40.00-$45.00 average.

          So we most recently went a few weekends ago, sat in the attractive lounge area, looked our South Tampa glamorous best, enjoyed $13-$15 fresh fruit martinis, walked out happy, and then went to eat an entire meal at the Yummy House for the price of one of SideBern’s entrees.


          3 Replies
          1. re: Noice

            wow! Thank you both for responding to my inquiry. I'm glad we didn't head up there this past weekend as originally planned. In the past I've had to travel to Tampa several times a year, and Sideberns was always one of my dinner go to's while in town. Since I hadn't been up there in awhile, I was going to run up just for the weekend to get a fix of Sideberns and a few other faves in the area. The dim sum were never high on my list of top things to order there; but I've never been disappointed in any of the other creative appetizers or any of their fish dishes. I"m sorry to hear that they were so disappointing to you, Noice. I wonder what you would have thought of the restaurant in prior years? Yummy, were you there often enough prior to the change to notice a difference other than in the dimsum? At least it's good to know their bartender still makes awesome martinis. Anyone else been there lately that can compare and contrast between the before and after?

            1. re: zook

              Honestly, I don't remember having the dim sum previously. I had ordered it this time to share with my date because we're not heavy eaters but wanted a variety of flavors but also we wanted to avoid the heavy prices of the entrees which would have been wasted on us. In addition to dim sum I believe I got soup or a salad and my boyfriend got an additional appetizer. We also enjoyed a champagne split, 2 glasses of wine and dessert. I think it was just over $100 for the 2 of us. I believe you can eat deliciously and well without going over the top with entree's. It sort of impedes the full enjoyment of the other courses offered.

              1. re: loveinmytummy


                I think you are right, and we will return for drinks and maybe a few of the smaller plates in the future. I just wouldn't go back with an all-out prices-be-damned attitude for a full meal that will change my life because I don't think it's to be had there.