Sidecar Café is tucked away on Kennebec Avenue, one street over from the main drag in Oak Bluffs, Circuit Avenue. They focus on fresh, local ingredients and frequently tweak the menu to reflect what is in season.
The Hand Rolled Mushroom Cigars had an enticing aroma and featured a buttery, flaky phyllo crust wrapped around a filling made from mushrooms in various states of dice, garlic, thyme, and perhaps a hint of mustard. Served with a Beer-Mustard sauce, their rich meaty flavor tasted more like a guilty pleasure than your average vegetable appetizer.
Dusted with paprika and sprinkled with herbs, the Devil Makes Three is made from Island grown eggs and comes with pickled baby vegetables. The deviled eggs were well seasoned, with a bright vinegar zing echoed by the pickled carrots.
The Curd and the Cured, which changes weekly, is a selection of 2 cheeses with pairings, house-made charcuterie and bread. Ours came with a pork terrine, chicken liver paté, garlic puree, pickled carrots and baby zucchini, a triple cream and a bright orange cheddar-type cheese. Made from cow, goat and sheep’s milk, the triple cream was smooth and luscious, with a little bit of good stinkyness. The other cheese was bright orange, colored with carrot juice and had a slightly oily, waxy texture, similar to Manchego, but with a flavor closer to cheddar. The pork terrine was fantastic, sporting a center of pork tenderloin surrounded by a house-made pork sausage flavored with caraway. The smokiness of the tenderloin and the spicy, almost Indian flavors of the sausage combined in an intriguing way that left us wanting more. While the zucchini had a very nice vegetal flavor, the carrots were sweet and acidic, and left behind a slight taste of fennel.
Sidecar’s menu lists their steak option as “Some kinda steak, seasonal vegetables, potatoes Boulanger”. On this particular night, we were served an espresso rubbed flank steak with fava beans and cherry tomatoes. The steak had a nice crusty char and a deep earthy flavor from the spicy coffee rub. The small potatoes were halved, and sat in a sauce rich with butter and sweet caramelized onions.
Accompanied by a sunchoke puree and roasted vegetables, Sidecar’s Local Sole filet was served folded and pan-fried, creating the appearance of a much thicker piece of fish. It was cooked just right, with an appealing golden brown exterior and a moist steamy interior. We found the sunchoke puree to be an innovative sauce with its creamy texture and slightly sweet and nutty flavor. The vegetables were delicious, particularly the local radishes, which lost some of their peppery bite in the roasting process, giving them a more mild, rounded flavor than expected.
One of Sidecars most popular dishes is the Ginger Crusted U-10 Scallops, served on top of carrot risotto. It came with four sea scallops that were nicely seared, but still tender in the middle, with just a hint of ginger flavor. The risotto leans toward the sweet side, with chunks of candied ginger and a pronounced carrot flavor. It’s BRIGHT orange color really stands out on the plate, and contrasts nicely with chopped green herbs sprinkled on top.
Sidecar’s long narrow dining room has an intimate and cozy feel to it, and they also have a few tables located outdoors, on the small brick patio that faces Kennebec Ave. The inviting bar is tucked in the back of the dining room and serves beer (including the locally brewed Offshore Ale), wine and great cocktails.
Editor’s note ~ At Hungry Native, our restaurant reviews are by no means comprehensive, we may have visited a particular place many times, or perhaps only once. For the most part, we focus on specific dishes. We try to judge restaurants for what they are, rather than compare them directly. No review should be taken as a blanket endorsement of an establishment but rather a guide to what we found especially good or interesting.
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