Tampa >Food & Dining > Sidebern's
2208 W. Morrison Ave., Tampa, FL | Directions 3360627.933743 -82.482658
Neighborhoods: Southwest, New Suburb Beautiful
IMPRESSED – After asking a very hip gay man what his favorite restaurant was, we took his advice and tried
SideBerns. Our 26 year old son and his girlfriend were visiting from San Diego and we wanted them to see Tampa's finest. We were not disappointed.
The food, service and style of this restaurant were top notch, LA, New York style. Not one disappointment with any of our meals and the service was superb. Drinks were great and the people watching was fun.
Surprising, cutting-edge cuisine and a stylish, fast-forward crowd make this the darling of Tampa sophisticates. – The Scene
Picture sheer, robin's-egg blue curtains, big bowls of fresh flowers and avant-garde modern furnishings that endow the restaurant with a 21st-century grace. It's a formal setting, but not uniformly so--most of the glitzy crowd dresses up, but people do come casual as well, but with the attitude of trend-setting fashionistas. SideBern's is a terrific place to take a particularly discriminating date, or someone you'd like to impress with a truly memorable night out.
It's an imaginative, elegant blend of Eastern and Western culinary traditions. Start with dim sum, a selection of bite-sized appetizers like lobster spring rolls and foie gras pot stickers. For an entree, order Szechuan-glazed Florida grouper, accompanied by shrimp tempura, sweet-pea shiitake stir-fry and coriander jasmine rice. For dessert, try the calorific Valrhona and Vanilla, a liquid-centered chocolate cake with vanilla bean creme, dark-chocolate mousse and ice cream.
Bravo Bravo!!! and Hail to the Chef! – Unbelievable! Tampa has so few restaurants that successfully blend high dining, ambience, and service and are actually worthy of the high price tags assigned. What a wonderful experience. The food is the best of fresh and innovative East meets West. Service is friendly, charming and when appropiate, invisible. I liked noticing that they worked as teams and didn't mind servicing other people's tables. One the best restaurants in Tampa I've found and will return to again and again. My only gripe is the insanely priced wine list. Very difficult to find anything under 50 dollars. Stick to the very good Spanish and Chilean wines which are good values at 30 dollars. All the other French, Italian and Californian wines are at least 50+, most of which are around 80 dollars. When the food is around 25-30 for entree, I can't see paying 80 dollars for a wine bottle as reasonable.
Inventive, fabulous food – This restaurant is clearly one of the best in Tampa. Everything served is distinctive and memorable. A variety of unique breads is a great beginning to every meal. The salads are creative and spectacular. The amount of preparation and care that goes into the meals is remarkable. Obviously the wine selection is great. The only problem is the price. While I feel the quality of the food easily warrants the price, I certainly can't go to Sideberns every other night. And I was a bit annoyed when someone tries to sell a $50 bottle of wine from the adjoining wine shop at $100 with my meal. The lack of logic (and expense) discourages me from enjoying wine with my meals.
Still one of my favorites – I eat at SideBerns quite a bit and always find it pleasing. I always find fresh ideas on the menu and am always happy with the results. The lobster spring rolls are a favorite, as is the SideBerns salad. I know others here have commented that their food was bland, but I have never found the food to be anything but excellent. The wine list is also fabulous, as you would expect from anything with Berns in the name. As for service, I have found it excellent in most cases, with a few slow night exceptions that I attributed to the time I was dining. As far as options in Tampa, I think SideBerns leads the pack for innovative food choices.
A little disappointed – I went to SideBern's to celebrate my birthday and although the service was exceptional, my food lacked flavor. It was decent...but tasted like something I could prepare at home. The appetizers are possibly the smallest things on earth with no flavor- a complete rip off. This was my first time to SideBern's and I was hesitant to try it because I like Bern's so much...I think the filet was the best thing on SideBern's menu, and if you want that you should probably just go to Bern's where everything isn't al a carte.
Brilliant AND disappointing – It's difficult to rank this place because I love it and hate it. The food and ambiance are very good (if you don't mind a little noise). However with the exception of my first visit, 4 other times we experienced plain lousy service. I had to drag my wife the last time we went, because I truly like the place, but from the moment we sat to the moment we left. I got the same ol' lonnnng wait despite 8:00 reservations (got a table at 8:40 and didn't see our bread until 9:25) and loooonngg wait between all courses. Needless to say I got a deserved "I told you so" and now I couldn't drag my wife there again. Why..why... Sidebern's!!??
SideBland – My husband and I are new to the area and had heard great things about SideBerns. We eat out almost every night, and we were very excited about trying this restaurant. We both found the atmosphere to be cool and laid back, but as for the food, it left much to be desired. One word in a nutshell...BLAND. Everything from our first couse to desert had too little flavor going on.
Overhyped – Food was a disappointing attempt to fusion east and west cuisines, it was either bland or salty and at best dismal. Although service and presentation was good. Clear your car since they close out their only parking space for valet, bring a rag if it is raining because they will return your car with a soaking wet driver seat.
Overrated – Side Bern's was decent, but being the sibling to big brother Bern's, one of Tampa's finest and most reknowned restaurants, we were disappointed, especially after reading the many good reviews. Not that it was bad. It was decent. It just wasn't great. For instance, the conch chowder we had was extremely bland. To compare, we love the seafood chowder at the Mystic Fish in Palm Harbor--much more zing, especially with Myer's rum in it!! The dim sum selection was small and disappointing-for dim sum, go to TC Choy's. Entrees were alright. We prefer Profusion, Roy's, Blue Heron, Mystic Fish, TC Choy's...
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