- Address: 577 College Street, Toronto
- Visited: 01/20/2017, Dinner, 2 people
- Cuisine: Canadian
- Rating: 4.5 5.0 Excellent, worth every $
4.5 Good, food & value
4.0 Good, but $$, would re-visit
3.5 Meh, good $, would re-visit
3.0 Meh, would not re-visit
2.0 Did not like $$$ [$] <20; [$$] <40; [$$$] <80; [$$$$] >80
- Website: http://www.sidecarrestaurant.ca/
This year Sidecar Restaurant on College St. is celebrating their 9th anniversary, an impressive feat for any restaurant in the neighbourhood that’s constantly welcoming new faces and saying goodbye to old favourites. Chef Hyun Jung Kim joined the restaurant recently and unveiled a new menu that will delight any customer. From scallops to duck breast to salmon, every bite was seriously good. Sidecar believes in providing great food and service at a reasonable price, which is why they’ve become a gratuity free restaurant. All menu prices are inclusive of tip and mains range in price from $20-$30, which I thought was a great value based on the quality of each plate. Sidecar invited me to taste dishes from their new menu and sip on a few cocktails from their sister establishment the Toronto Temperance Society.
Disclaimer: All food and drinks reviewed below were provided complimentary. All opinions expressed below are wholly mine.
To start, I’d like to note that the photos in this post show the serving size of the menu items as part of a multi-course tasting menu. Full size plates were a much larger, usually double, the portion size for all of the meat mains.
For drinks, Sidecar offers a variety of cocktails bottled daily from the Toronto Temperance Society upstairs. In addition, the bartender can also whip up drinks to order. The Hubby decided to try an Old Fashioned while I asked for a surprise with the request of something fruity and sweet. Our server returned with an adorable bottle for him and a French 75 for me, that fit my request to a tee.
Our first taste was an amuse bouche from Chef Kim that featured a trio of seafood ranging in texture, cooking techniques and flavour. There was a fresh oyster with an apple mignotte, a PEI mussel with smoked paprika, and a deep fried shrimp. We moved our way from refreshing to rich and savoured each bite. I loved the mussel, which had a strong smoky aroma and still tasted of the ocean. The first menu item we tasted was the starter Scallops, seared perfectly on one side and served with charred rice in a light, clear broth. I would’ve preferred my scallops a touch more rate, but they were very tender and the broth was amazing. The charred grains of rice added a bit of crunch and punch of flavour.
The Hubs and I tasted 3 mains, which was a lot of food. I really appreciated Sidecar’s hospitality and the thought and care they put into our tasting. The smaller portion sizes allowed us to thoroughly enjoy each bite from start to finish. Our first main was Atlantic Salmon with Israeli couscous, brown butter, shallot, capers and lemon. The salmon skin was perfectly crispy and the fish just opaque. I really enjoyed the hints of sour that complemented the savoury sauce. Next was seared Duck Breast with butternut squash, lentils, cipolini onions and kale. I loved this dish. The duck breast was still pink inside with a crispy skin and light gamey flavour. The sweet butternut squash was creamy and paired well with the rich duck. Our final entree was a medallion of beef with creamed parsnip and cabbage. Again, expertly cooked and a good balance of textures and taste.
Then there was dessert. By this point, we really should have split the two desserts between us. We tried the Chocolate Mousse, which would have satisfied any chocolate fan with the rich chocolate taste. I really liked the chocolate cup that had a raspberry sauce inside and a spot of whipped cream. The other dessert, the one I liked more, was the Tiramisu Cheesecake that was a decadent take on the classic dessert.
Dinner at Sidecar was a true delight. I’m sure that with Chef Kim in the kitchen, the restaurant will be celebrating many more anniversaries to come. Sidecar also offers tasting menus at $35 for 3 courses (available Sunday to Wednesday) and $60 for 5 courses (available by request), which are great deals. I would highly recommend the scallop, duck breast and tiramisu cheesecake.