We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Excellent Start, But A Disappointing Finish!”
Review of The Sidecar Cafe & Bar - CLOSED

The Sidecar Cafe & Bar
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Brewster
Level Contributor
53 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Excellent Start, But A Disappointing Finish!”
Reviewed August 23, 2012

Tried the Sidecar for a night out without the kids. Although the restaurant was very noisy, the appetizer of mussels we ordered was absolutely delicious and we were very much looking forward to our entrees. Unfortunately we were disappointed. The Lobster Mac & Cheese was passable, but a bit dry and nothing to get excited about. My wife had the Stripped Sea Bass special, which turned out to be a rather bland dish. Is there potential for all around excellence here? For sure, based on our appetizer. We just didn't experience it during our visit.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Ray M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

82 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    50
    18
    7
    4
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Las Vegas
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“The specials are the gems!”
Reviewed August 22, 2012

I have so much respect for the chef at this spot; if you think the restaurant is cramped, take a peek at the kitchen! Yet even with this "authetic vineyard" work space, and only a 2-man team, he still manages to do almost everything homemade and locally sourced. It's so refreshing to see a chef who's willing to make his own pasta (of which there are a variety on the menu) and who prioritizes in favor of supporting the local farms and fishermen. The resulting food is flavorful, colorful and inspired. A truly unique island experience.

While there are a couple must-haves on the menu (Black pepper cavatelli carbonara and the local kale/swiss chard salad are my two favorites), it's the specials at Sidecar that make it worth returning to. When deciding what to eat I rarely look further than the large chalkboard next to the bar where the daily specials are written (also where the wine options are, fyi).
The specials include dishes such as the (appetizer) Menemsha Bonito ceviche with island tomato and walla walla onion pico de gallo and cilantro aioli: a wonderful balance of acidity and sweetness to complement the simple freshness of the fish, and a hint of creaminess from the aioli to keep everything in check. Also the (entree) Great Rock striped bass over local corn, maitake mushrooms, Tashmoo littlenecks and scallion gnocchi topped with a tomato-honey chutney was one of the most amazing and beautiful plates of food ever. The striped bass had a beautiful crispy skin that held up to the sweet chutney on top while the underside of the fish flaked off settled amongst the corn, mushrooms and salty littlenecks. Yum.
Another amazing special I had this summer was a dish that featured Wahoo. Wahoo tends towards warmer water so we don't often get it locally caught in Mass, but it ventured up this summer and Sidecar took advantage. Almost like swordfish, this meaty white fish was pan seared and presented over a deconstructed corn and clam chowder made with local potatoes, leeks and bacon. It was the perfect combination of classic New England flavors and locally gathered ingredients as well as being a first for me, always something I'm looking for.

While I could go on and on about the food here, the service doesn't always meet the same standards. Some servers are informed and attentive but I've also had a couple that provide a more aloof, distant form of service. I don't need my ear chatted off but I would like another glass of wine before I finish my entree, please. I recommend sitting at the bar early in the evening and making the food the focus of your visit. (Also, in my opinion, if you want the freshest and the best the vineyard has to offer, you should never be ordering lobster mac and cheese... anywhere.)

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank harley863
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
42 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“MEH”
Reviewed August 15, 2012

We visited MV last year and it was one of the places we did not get to try. So we made sure this year we went by to check it out. VERY SMALL, VERY NOISY, server waas just OK had to keep asking her for things like bread, and drinks. The Lobster Mac n Cheese was VERY RUNNY and kind of bland! Of the 4 different lobster mac n cheeses we had this year it was the 4th best by far. Just not much body or taste once you got past the top layer. I would not go back here due to food, service, and how small and loud it is! Just MEH!

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Beenaroundtheworld2x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Second review”
Reviewed August 1, 2012

Reviewed Sidecar two years ago (Disappointed). Since then, having given it another chance, Sidecar has become one of my favorite restaurants. The menu is creative, food delicious, waitstaff friendly. You can order full plates or smaller portions on several dishes. All this and a glass of Malbec, what could be better?

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank mafk10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Needham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“great food and atmosphere”
Reviewed July 30, 2012

We loved this restarurants. We were there with a party of six and liked it so much we went back the next night. We had the local flounder one night and the striped bass the next and both nights it was fantastic. Service is a little slow but very friendly and food and atmosphere was great.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank david k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed The Sidecar Cafe & Bar also viewed

 
Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard
Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard
 

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing