Sidecar – What a Deal!

My sisters flew into town last Wednesday so I thought we would grab the prix fix dinner deal at Sidecar.  I had been to Sidecar for this deal on several occasions and have come to think of it as one of the best deals in the city.  $25 dollars for a three course prix fix and the food is actually really good by any standard.  On this particular occasion I was really hungry so in addition to the three course meals we each ordered we decided to order a couple appetizers for the table to share.  The first was the shrimp tempura with soya dipping sauce.

The dish comes with 6 huge pieces of shrimp that are delicious!  The batter is light, tasty and soaks up just the right amount of the sauce (I thought it tasted more like ponzu sauce since it wasn’t salty and a little sweeter than soya sauce).  The shrimp is very fresh and cooked to a perfect bouncy texture.  The dish comes out piping hot and was clearly a hit at the table.  Of all the shrimp dishes I’ve had in my life, that one definitely ranks high on my list.  We also shared the halibut ceviche.

I thought this dish was good but my sisters weren’t the biggest fans.  They thought the dish had too much of a lemon flavor.  I could taste a hit of vinegar as well and mixed with the roasted garlic, I thought it turned out quite nicely.  The fish didn’t have a lot of flavor though and I felt it was more there for texture than taste which is a little odd. You would think that the tastes should all compliment the flavor of the fish.  It was a refreshing dish however and I’m glad we ordered it along side the shrimp.  The contrast between the hot dish and the cold dish was a great way to start the meal.  For the prix fix, they offer three different starters.  We ordered all of them.  My older sister had the daily soup which on this occasion with a mushroom soup.

My sister’s immediate complaint was the added oil in the soup.  I had mentioned that it was truffle oil to give it a more rich flavor.  She couldn’t finish it so I gladly ate the rest.  The soup used a chicken broth base with pureed mushrooms and truffle oil.  I love the taste of mushrooms and this soup had plenty of it.  The soup had a nice texture too.  Not too thick like a cream soup but not as thin as a simple broth.  My other sister had the Sidecar salad.

My younger sister described it as a fancy Greek salad.  This is usually my go to appetizer when I come for the prix fix since I really like this dish.  The dish includes diced veggies like cucumber, red onions and tomatoes mixed with feta cheese and a creamy oregano dressing.    When I took my mom here she thought the red onions were a little overpowering but seeing as how I like red onions I found thought this characteristic was delightful.  She actually let me finish her salad on that occasion and her salad had significantly more red onions than mine.  Just unlucky I guess.  In terms of taste, the fresh cool veggies, creamy dressing and creamy feta all mixed together superbly.  I really like this salad.  I had the Romain hearts salad.

The lettuce was lightly dressed with a caesar dressing and there were nice big chunks of bacon.  The saltiness of the bacon balanced out the creamy dressing.  The crostini with ricotta was also a nice touch.  The crostini was nice and crisp while the cheese added a whole other flavor to the dish.  Overall, I really liked it.  I think I still prefer the sidecar salad but if I’m every in the mood for a good caesar, this is a place I’ll definitely consider.  For the main entree, my older sister ordered the steak frites but had mentioned to me beforehand that I would have to help her finish…Excellent…I love eating with family!

The 8oz sirloin came out with hand cut frites and a smoked pepper mayo.  My sister said she found the steak a little on the tougher side but I said it was because she ordered it medium as opposed to medium rare which is how we grew up eating it.  I too thought it was a little on the dryer side and said that if I ever ordered this myself I would get it rare or medium rare.  The surface however was nicely spiced.  The frites were fresh out of the fryer and very tasty.  The pepper mayo served on the side was very tasty and very addictive.  It was hard not to douse the fries in a whole glob of mayo for each bite.   My younger sister had the Fettuccini with black tiger prawns served in a taragon shrimp broth.

The pasta was cooked to a perfect al dente but unfortunately that is really the only positive thing we could say (except maybe the hints of taragon in the sauce…I love taragon).  The sauce had this weird fishy kind of flavor that left an odd flavor in our mouths.  My sister said the prawns were okay but she was so turned off by the sauce that she didn’t really enjoy the dish.  My parents had this last time they were in town and they seemed to like it.  Maybe we just caught them on an off night.  I had the salmon with a honey mustard glaze served over Swiss chard in a butter sauce.

The fish was cooked to a perfectly medium texture and each bite melted in your mouth.  The sweet glaze was delicious!  The Swiss chard was tasty and mixed with the butter sauce, was quite awesome.  This dish was clearly the entree favorite at the table.  We had mentioned to the waiter that one of my sisters has a nut allergy.  Before the “Chef’s choice” dessert came out he informed us that the chocolate cake that would normally be served with all three our of prix fix dinners had nuts.  Instead he gave us a choice of desserts.  We decided to share the fresh berries (without the hazelnut liquor glaze unfortunately), the panna cotta and the peach cobbler.

The fresh berries were…well fresh.  I think the hazelnut liquor that is normally served with it would have made it awesome but the lack of nuts is a small price to pay to try three different desserts instead of 3 chocolate cakes.  The panna cotta had a nice light texture and was refreshing with the sweet berries it was served with.

The peach cobbler was the table favorite.  The hot cobbler and peaches mixed with the cold ice cream was a perfect balance of temperatures and sweetness vs. creaminess. The cobbler was sweet and crunchy while having hints of cinnamon.  The peaches were sliced into good size pieces but you could still fit a bit of cobbler and a bit of ice cream with each bite.  Delicious!

$25 dollars for a three course meal I think is awesome when you have food of this quality.  Although some of the dishes were misses with our table, overall we thought it was a really good meal.  That’s probably why I keep coming back here.

~ by jlowjlow on July 24, 2010.

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