Birthdays may not be as exciting as they once were, but one thing Cari and I always look forward to is treating each other to a fancy birthday dinner at a nice restaurant. Last year, I took Cari to Fressen on Queen Street West, and a few months later, she treated me to a delicious Greek dinner at Omonia on Danforth Avenue.
This year, Cari had one simple request: seared ahi tuna. I thought it was going to be easy. Boba has ahi tuna, right? Unfortunately, Boba recently shut its doors, which made my mission a lot more challenging. I turned immediately to google, and wound up at the website for Sidecar Bar and Grill.
Located on College Street near Bathurst, Sidecar seemed like the perfect place to celebrate Cari’s 28th. I booked a table for two, and I’m glad I did because I have never seen a restaurant so busy on a Wednesday night! In fact, when we walked in at 7:30 our table was still occupied. To keep us happy, the restaurant owner/manager gave us both complementary glasses of sparkling wine, which we sipped as we waited the five minutes for our table to open up.
Sidecar offers an extensive selection of cocktails, many of them combining conventional ingredients like brandy, gin, citrus and cream with more unusual items. Cari ordered a vanilla margarita (vanilla tequila, cointreau, lime and orange bitters), while I tried the Rooibos #1 (gin, pimms #1, rooibos tea, lemon and egg white). At roughly $10 a pop these drinks were not cheap, but definitely a part of the complete SIdecar experience.
Moving on to our starters, Cari enjoyed her seared ahi tuna, which was served atop a nicoise salad. I went the more traditional route with the Sidecar Salad, which featured chopped vegetables, feta cheese and a creamy oregano dressing. Simple, but delicious.
Cari went with another one of her perennial favourites, mushroom risotto, as an entree. I kept it basic with steak frites. Simple yet again, but as I hadn’t eaten a steak in at least a year it really hit the spot. The fries, too, were fantastic.
I should note that Sidecar offers a prix fixe menu from Sundays to Wednesdays for $22. Both of my items were featured on that menu. Cari’s were not, but I wasn’t about to be fussy on her birthday!
Speaking of the prix fixe menu, it also came with Sidecar’s dessert of the day, which Cari and I shared alongside our favourite post-dinner beverage of cappuccino.
Ultimately, Sidecar was a moderately priced dinner, perfectly suited for the occasion. I’m not sure it’s a place we’d go to on a whim, but it’s definitely one we’d gladly visit again.