Sidecar ... kind of a dissappointment
So after prowling these forums for a while I always see Sidecar being mentioned as a great restaurant. So, this past Saturday I told my fiancé that we are going to go there and try it.. as its new to us, but people speak so highly of it.
I have to admit.. I was disappointed. It wasn't what I call Terrible.. but I don't think I would personally recommend going out of my way to go there.
We had a reservation for 8 on Saturday. We walked inside and the interior was fairly empty (I would say about 25% full). Very basic decor, but one thing I noticed was the stains on the bench seats. They offered a spot either on the patio or inside. We choose inside as we figured it might cool off soon. They sat us right in front of the kitchen window… which sucked. It was really noisy and cramped. Honestly, I also didn’t like the fact I could watch the cooks (who were working there butts off) whip the sweat off their faces with their arm and hands and then place food onto plates with their bare hands! (I did not notice this until after I ate)
To start we ordered a cocktail each. I had the Jerry Sour which was quite good, and he had the Dark and Stormy which was excellent. The brought us a bread basket with butter which was good.
Then we ordered the Salumi and Antipastp plate ($24) to start. This was a big waste of money. We are huge Antipasti plate fans… so we always order it when its offered.. but this just wasn’t worth the money, I would have paid no more than half that. The meat was fine, there were dried out gherkins, three bite size pieces of cheese, and what they call ‘house mustard’ which was taste mustard seat (literally, it had no taste) and was about a teaspoon amount. Needless to say, I would not recommend ordering this. Waste-of-Money.
For Entrée’s I ordered the Steak Frites and he ordered the Duck Gnocchi. For the price, the Steak Frites was good. The steak was a nice size, cooked the way I wanted it.. though slightly tougher then I’m used to, but again, for the price I can’t complain. The Gnocchi was also quite good. This was the highlight of the entire night. Good entrees.
For dessert we ordered the flourless chocolate cake, to share. When they laid the cake down, we both had to laugh. It was about an 1 inch wide and 3.5 inches long (if that), again, for the $7 price tag I thought that was a bit of a rip off. It wasn’t bad, but not great.
The service through the night was iffy. We found that we had to wave our waitress down a few times. We sat at our table, empty plates, which were removed at one point and empty glasses for 27 minutes (which is like an eternity when you want to leave) waiting for the waitress to appear so we could get the bill, then another 10 minutes to get it and pay it.
Anyways, like I said, it wasn’t terrible but it was a disappointment. The entrée’s while good just didn’t make up for the crappy starter, dessert, service and atmosphere. If I were to ever go back I would consider it during a week night for the prix fixe.
That's really too bad. For me, I don't think Sidecar is a great resto but a good neighborhood place for weeknight dining or a place when you have to please a wide-range of people who may be less adventurous. IMO what makes the place is the cheap three course week night menu, the patio and the good quality drinks. I don't think I've ever even taken the dessert they offer as part of the three course set menu as IIRC it was a chocolate item each time I've been and I am not at all a chocolate fan. It is a bummer to hear that it was so lacking for you.
Your comments are basically exactly what I came too.. . it probably worth going on weeknight for a prefixe..if you are in the area, the drinks are good.. but yeah.. I would not go out of my way to go there, especially on a weekend.
The Chocolate thing that comes with the prefixe, is the Chocolate cake we had I believe.. so you didn't miss much by skipping it :)