Friday, April 18, 2014Cloudy 8°C
Restaurants

Sidecar

Posted by Nicole Stamp / Reviewed on February 9, 2008 / review policy

SIDECAR
Sidecar is the newest addition to the Little Italy strip, having just opened in the spot formerly occupied by that weird Versace bar. Inside, the place looks like the product of a Gordon Ramsay restaurant makeover: warm raw brick, sleek curved bar, and buttery-beige ductwork, all glowing by candlelight. We're a little underdressed in parkas and army caps, but the host greets us warmly, unfazed by our obvious street cred.

Gordon Ramsay would approve of the spare menu (only 6 mains), the conscientious service, and the signature drink: a Tangerine Sidecar (cognac, Cointreau, lemon juice, and fresh-squeezed tangerine juice). Unlike a Ramsay makeover, nobody is being spatula-whipped in the open kitchen, which portends well.

SIDECAR 2

First up: dense cornbread, uncannily uniform in texture and yellowness- oddly, there's no trace of browning on the crust. Served at room temperature, it's a little meh, crying out for a quick flip on the grill- charred edges would improve it. Though it's not perfect, it's still a given that even bland cornbread beats dinner rolls in an arm-wrestle, so we're off to a good start.

SIDECAR 3

Grilled Organic Salmon with Honey-Mustard Glaze, Swiss Chard, and Butter Sauce ($16) makes a satisfying main. Though my fish is verrrry slightly overcooked, the honey-mustard glaze is sweet and flavourful, the edges of the fish are deliciously crisp, and the greens are perfectly toothsome. The butter sauce is particularly notable: intensely buttery in flavour without being at all greasy or heavy. My ladylike comportment struggles with my inner wench, who really wants to lick the plate.

SIDECAR restaurant

The kitchen really gets it right with Braised Lamb Shank with White Beans. It's a perfect dish, generously sized and scrumptious- and a steal at $18. The lamb falls off the bone into sleek ribbons, and the beans, meltingly smooth, recline in their dreamy, buttery sauce. I steal so many forkfuls that my dinner date flashes me the Claire Huxtable eyebrow and wraps a brawny barrier of forearm across his plate.

SIDECAR dessert

We're grinning like dopes even before we're presented with complementary shot glasses of Royal Chocolate Mousse. Rich, silky, and not too sweet, with that slightly gritty texture of really nice chocolate, they're the perfect end to a delicious meal.

In its first weeks, Sidecar already has friendly, very attentive service, excellent food, and pleasant ambience- and it will only get better as it settles into itself. It's well worth checking out.

Discussion

10 Comments

Steve Iscoe / February 29, 2008 at 07:34 pm
user-pic
Wonderful food expertly prepared; the stocks with each dish are real and reduced for flavour, having none of the powdery gelatinous look that coems from flour. The service is of a high standard (real cutlery, replaced as often as needed). A terrific value and highly recommended.
Ivor / October 28, 2008 at 10:29 pm
user-pic
Just came back from a 6 month anniversary dinner @ Sidecar. The experience was quite nice. Me and my girlfriend came in late cause of the TTC but no grief from them. Had the prix fix menu. Salad was a nice change from the usual mesculin/ceasar. Topped with salty chunks of feta and rounded of with sweet apples. Megan had the chicken/asparagus/mash and when it came in the portion for that price was HUGE! chicken was moist and cooked to perfection, "so good" to quote Megan. Myself had the 8oz steak/frits. Portion size was excellent wish there was some greens though but for the prix wouldnt change it. The steak was just par for me. Wasnt as warm as i would have like it(ordered it medium) They got the right doness but the steak was a little bit chewy. The warmth might have been because there were 6 other ppl served steak at the same time but the chewy was weird. Maybe the beef wasnt aged well enough? The house dessert was silky smooth dark cholate tort. Very rich but the portions they served were just right to not overpower the palate.
All in all with each a glass of wine meal came to 90$ with tips involved.
The night was a hit. The busy buzz of happy ppl added to the nice ambiance.
Will def be back!
Glen Murray / July 16, 2009 at 07:50 am
user-pic
This is one the few "true" bistros in the city. It is NOT an overpriced French restaurant pretending to be a bistro like so many others. Sidecar is all about awesome food and specifically a great steak ftrites. Baseball steaks are cooked to perfection, medium rare, tender and packed with flavour and the match stick frites, well, are as French Edith Piaff. The pricing of Prix fix menu nails it and someone finally realized bistros are the regular restaurants folks flock to when they want a meal and don'r want to cook. This all about affordable, great food and wines for all of us who just want a place we can afford to go often and in so doing create a home away from home where we meet and make friends.
It has a great big patio out back and a pocket patio on the street and inside it has great decor and a lively, warm vibe. It takes about one visit to be on a first name basis with staff.
A warm corner in the big cold city.
RN / August 1, 2009 at 12:27 pm
user-pic
This is one of my favourite restaurants in the city. The staff are all very welcoming and service orientated. The food is terrific and the cocktails are pretty outstanding. Nice vibe inside.
L Fuentes / March 13, 2010 at 06:05 pm
user-pic
My friend and I had a lovely dinner here. The food is fresh and well prepared and the drinks were great. A very enjoyable night out.
Natalie / August 21, 2011 at 12:32 pm
user-pic
http://www.sidecarrestaurant.ca/ they have a website, you should add it to the listing!
Paul D. / August 31, 2011 at 09:20 am
user-pic
I've been going to Sidecar since it's opening month and I have enjoyed every single meal since then. Excellent food, inventive delicious drinks, and an efficient staff. Hoping it can join the ranks of Le Select and others as a long-standing Toronto spot.
Eileen / September 27, 2011 at 10:15 am
user-pic
Has anyone Eaten at this restaurant recently?
Would it be a good venue for a pre-wedding dinner for 50- 60 people?
anon / February 13, 2013 at 11:13 am
user-pic
I've eaten here a dozen times and have yet to be disappointed. The service, the food, the ambience is all great. It lacks the pretension most restaurants in Toronto suffer from. It just aims to please and does it in SPADES. Do not miss a chance to eat here. Casey, the manager, is a stand-up guy. Bravo.
Adrianna / April 6, 2013 at 06:33 pm
user-pic
The reviewer put it perfectly, "home away from home when you don't feel like cooking." I have been going there for 4 years now and I consider it our place when we want something good to eat and are too lazy to try something new.

About 2 years ago they went through a chef switch which I wasn't happy about initially but have been impressed by him so frequently that I can't complain. My issue was that I had favourites on the menu and was sad to see them go. Best surprises are when they bring back old menu items with a twist.

The mixologists (doesn't do them justice calling them bartenders) get the cocktails spot on every time with home made infusions and bitters etc. My favourite is the deconstructed caesar (two shots, the first a cucumber infused vodka and the second, dill infused clamato). I have learned to be adventurous with my cocktail selection because I know it will be done properly here.

Add a Comment

Search

Find a restaurant

Or use the options below to assist you in locating a restaurant in Toronto.

Search Results

Please select criteria from the dropdown menus above to start your search.

Reviews

Recent Reviews

Refine the list using the categories below:


Loading...
Other Cities: Montreal