Sunday, April 9, 2017

Tasting Menu at Sidecar

I wrote a blog post about Sidecar Bar and Grill in May 2010, about a month after I started this blog. You can check it out here if you want. In a nutshell, it's about my friend Cindy and I trying Sidecar's prix fixe menu for the very first time and me falling in love with their steak frites (FYI till this day Cindy and I still go on a lot of dining escapes together!). Ughhh, looking back at old blog posts always make me cringe - I hate the way I wrote back then. Sometimes, I have an urge to delete certain old posts, but a friend once said I shouldn't because "it shows growth"...yea, seven year's worth! *Sigh*. Reading that post actually made me laugh though because of how I described my cocktail:

"This was so yummy and refreshing. I love fruity drinks!"

Kill me now! Oh, how I've grown. I despise fruity drinks nowadays. The boozier, the better. Actually, this is an excellent example of how a person's taste can change over time, which is why I always encourage people to try foods they previously didn't like because you may end up enjoying it the second time around (especially if years have passed). I used to despise sea urchin but now I can never get enough. Can you imagine? Hating uni? I don't even know myself anymore.

Sorry to veer off topic. Anyway, since that blog post, I've probably been to Sidecar a handful more times over the years. Admittedly, I frequent their second floor cocktail bar - Toronto Temperance Society - way more often. TTS is like my second home; it makes some of the best cocktails in the city and the atmosphere there is second to none. Seeing that I haven't been to Sidecar in a while, I was very intrigued when I heard that a new chef took over downstairs.

Before I start talking about the food, there are two things worth noting: 1) A minor change, but nonetheless important, is the restaurant's slight name change. Back in the day, the restaurant was called "Sidecar Bar & Grill", now it's Sidecar Restaurant (Instagram: @sidecar_restaurant), and 2) Since 2017, the restaurant eliminated tipping completely to become Toronto's first gratuity-free restaurant.

Helming the kitchen at Sidecar now is chef H ("Hyun Jung") Kim (@hhyunjkim). Graduated from George Brown in 2010, Kim started his career at Globe Bistro under chefs Kevin McKenna and Daniel Sanders, followed by a brief stint at C5 with chef Ted Corrado. He then worked at George Restaurant for chef Lorenzo Loseto as chef de partie and eventually moved up the ranks to junior sous chef. After two and a half years at George, he traveled around Europe for six months. When he came back to Toronto, he staged at a couple places and briefly worked at The Chase before heading back to George as sous chef. In December 2016, Kim took over the kitchen at Sidecar, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Move over fruity drinks! Nobody gets between me and my old fashioneds anymore.

Bourbon, sugar, bitters

I have a soft spot for restaurants that offer complimentary bread. There's not many of them out there anymore.