My good friend Ben has been raving about the drinks and dinner at Sidecar so naturally we had to book a night there for the sake of my blog. When I walked in - I felt immediately comforted. It was a laid back atmosphere with exposed brick and exposed wood but it was buzzing! Sidecar seems casual but have done something right- they've have had some great word of mouth publicity as I've heard from fellow co-workers to friends that this place is a must try.
The drink menu was an exotic array of mixed infused cocktails that took me back to dinner at "Employees Only" in NYC and rightly so - as they guys behind Sidecar had also been inspired by the likes of speakeasys such as Milk and Honey, Long Branch and Employees Only.
Our server Graham, who looked like a trimmer Ricky from Trailer Park Boys, seemed to be well versed in the science of mixology and entertained us throughout the night with cucumber infused gin, bitters and delicious and unique cocotions. Whenever he brought us a new drink- he lingered to see our reactions and was proud of his inventive creations. He was also tempting our palletes for what he had in store in future such as a bacon vodka infusion?!
Off their cocktail menu - I tried their Badass Mojito - a raspberry and minty delight; Spicy Ginger lemonade- which you could definitley taste the potency of the jalepeno and ginger in the drink; Vanilla Margarita- which featured a vanilla infused tequila which went down too smoothly; and their Painless Brazillian- frothy egg whites that topped off a strawberry caphaca- very creamy and delicious and ladies, if you have ever had a brazillian- this was a very different and painless experience!
Ben tried their Rooibos which featured pimms #1 and rooibos tea and their namesake- the Sidecar with tangerine rine.
As the night got later and cocktails were downed, my friend Ben who I've known for many years became more attractive with each drink. We used to work together at a toy company and we recently composed a song for our friend's wedding and performed it live at the reception.
As we waited for our dishes- Ben and I finished our bread basket. The bread was very good and served with creamy garlic butter. While the bread was good, I believe we were just hungry. We actually didn't have reservations and couldn't get a table for over an hour. This place is busy! If you go - i would recommend a reservation - even if it's a Tuesday and there's only 2 of you!
For that hour - we went to a place at the corner called Sotte Voce. It's a great wine bar but the bartender was in quite a bitchy mood and Ben's sarcasm wasn't appreciated when he learned she couldn't make a basic Daquiri with lime juice in it!
Anyway back at Sidecar...
For Appetizers we started with a nicoise salad with boiled eggs, olives and ahi tuna that was crusted with black pepper as well as an argula salad with stillton and wal-nuts. They were both very good starting plates. The real winner of the night for me is the mushroom risotto. It was really amazing- flavourful, creamy and just plain delicious! We also tried the black cod which was good but not as memorable as the risotto. We were eating only seafood and vegetarian plates this evening as my friend Ben has decided to give up meat for personal and ethical reasons. The funniest thing was when we asked what stock they used in the risotto - they said it was chicken ... Ben almost spat out the mouthful of risotto he had just put in his mouth! Beware vegetarians!
All in all, it was a fun, boozy night with great company on College!
Sidecar- 577 College St- College & Clinton
*** 1/2 stars (out of 5)