560 Fifth Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 369-0077

After a noir thriller, isn't is apropos to eat in a noir restaurant? I think so. So, after almost three hours of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, we found ourselves at Sidecar, Park Slope's more approachable version of Williamsburg's Rye. Both are speakeasies-cum-restaurants. But, while Rye is somewhat more haute, Sidecar tries focuses more on comfort food. Let me put it this way. Philip Marlowe ate here, Nick and Nora Charles ate at Rye. Both drank.

My eyes wandered the menu after ordering, of course, a sidecar. Their version is extra-sweet with a rim of finely ground sugar. The one I'm drinking right now (for inspiration) is considerably less playful. Next time, I'd order something darker, but I'm glad they know what they're doing. And here's the proof: you see that glass down there? It's called a coupe. When you order a drink and it comes in that glass, you can bet that the establishment cares about its drinks. Don't over-think this. It's just true.

Anyway, Sidecar's appeal, for me anyway, is that it manages to fit almost every niche save where to take your grandparents. It's dimly lit and cozy, so it makes a great date place. It's dark and moody with real drinks, so it's fun for hanging with friends. It's casual but refined, so you can show up in a t-shirt or tie and still not feel out of place. It's menu is small enough that you know the chef was able to focus on each dish with care, rather than try to accommodate every taste with filler plates. Yet the menu's large enough not to get have to get the same thing every time you come.

Okay, so the atmosphere is good and throw some good booze around. How's the food? Pike and I both decided to give their oysters a whirl. We tried both their Fried Oysters, served with a tartar sauce, and their Raw Long Island Oysters, served with an onion vinaigrette. I love me my oysters. Fried, raw, served in a soup, whatever. And these were far from the exception. Pike does too. He was a bigger fan of the raw than I was. My thought was that they seemed slightly bland. He disagreed. I absolutely loved the fried ones though. And, at $2.50 a pop (which is actually not a bad price, but in this economy...) they should be pretty damn awesome. After we literally sucked these puppies down, we dug into the White Bean Dip, a white bean and feta paste that you scoop up with white tortilla chips. It didn't last long, and with good reason.

For dinner, Pike ordered the Cheeseburger, a grass-fed patty with cheddar and a side of fries. I'm sure it was good because he said it was, though I didn't steal a bite. Still, it woulda been nice had he tried something less fast-foodie, like the salmon or the pork chop. My dinner choice was the Buttermilk Friend Chicken, served with some mashed potatoes and a sauteed kale that had been bathed in bacon. The chicken was extremely good. Very tender, very flaky, very moist and very sweet. You could taste the honey in the batter. It was almost a candy glaze. Absolutely great, though next time, I'll have to gargle some whiskey to cut the sugar.

We were filled to the brink of explosion by this point, so we stuck with coffee instead of dessert. This night, they were somewhat pudding heavy, anyway. Now, had they said "we have this insane cheesecake"...

Our meal of two appetizers, some drinks, two entrees and some coffee totaled, with tax and tip, at just around $110.

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