What You'll Get
Jump to: Reviews | Foodie Powers...Activate!
They say that flattery is the food of fools, while regional Mediterranean fare is the food of well-adjusted, attractive urbanites. With this Groupon, $35 gets you $75 worth of Mediterranean cuisine and drink at SideBern's, a Tampa eatery serving locally sourced fare that’s been widely praised by national and local media. This deal the perfect opportunity to see what all the buzz is about.
Chef Chad Johnson uses modern cooking techniques to accentuate the inherent deliciosity of each fresh, gourmet ingredient. When you consider the sensory symphony that Johnson has lovingly orchestrated in each dish, then multiply that by the number of different dishes served, you might start looking like that astronaut in 2001: A Space Odyssey when he flies through the monolith.
The simpler, less overwhelming, and by far more fun introduction to SideBern's hyper-cornucopia is to bring a bunch of friends along and try the six-course tasting menu ($70 per person, plus $35 for wine pairings). Your knowledgeable wait staff will navigate you through six courses of culinary fireworks, each complemented by its own sample of perfectly chosen wine and each seamlessly building on the flavor and texture of the previous course. You get to choose from two options for each course, resulting in more than four billion possible combinations. It's kind of like a Choose Your Own Adventure book for your taste buds, without the downer of being fed to army ants by the evil wizard on page 79.
When you factor in SideBern's exemplary selection of artisanal cheeses ($6), the variations are endless. Everyone at your table can enjoy their own game-changing dining experience at the same time. SideBern's also offers a vegetarian menu packed with tasty entrees, such as the potato terrine (porcini mushrooms, cipollini onion, and crescenza cheese fondue, $19).
Evening tipplers not in the mood for a full feast can instead spend the night exploring SideBern's vast selection of reds, whites, dessert wines, ports, highland and lowland scotches, bourbons, and unusual spirits. If you're feeling bold, try the grappa ($8–$19), and if you're feeling absinthe-y, you'll find a quartet of Europe's choicest green fairies ($9–$15) flitting around the back of the menu. The lounge menu ($6–$41) gives any drink a perfect dance partner with charcuteries, such as the finely marbled, acorn-fed jamon Iberico bellota and roasted hazelnuts ($21) or chef Johnson's personal selection of the evening's best ($25 or $41).
SideBern's encyclopedic wine and spirits list has won the Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator for five years running, while its modern Mediterranean cuisine has earned the Golden Spoon Award from Florida Trend Magazine for the past six years and the AAA Four Diamond Award for the past three. USA Today also deems it one of the best budget restaurants in Tampa, so don't let the glitzy diners, avant-garde furniture, or 21st-century elegance discourage you from dressing casual and bringing a date you're eager to impress or a potential investor for your tugboat documentary.
- What struck me on a couple of recent dinners at SideBern's was just how contemporary and big-city the menu has become. Just like in New York, the cocktails read more like exotic recipes (chili-infused Corzo tequila with watermelon, lime juice and agave nectar, $13). The lounge menu has all this great charcuterie, each meat paired with a dreamy accompaniment. – Laura Reiley, St. Petersburg Times
- Often, the dishes at SideBern's refuse to be pinned down to one, two or even three national influences. It's food that may seem normal for New York or Chicago, but for Tampa cuisine, it can be pretty revolutionary. – Brian Ries, Creative Loafing
- Sidebern's is an amazing restaurant. The food is some of the best that my husband and I have ever had. After moving here from Midtown Atlanta, we have high standards and are quite difficult to please. This restaurant could do no wrong! – asm775, Citysearch
- If you are a foodie and you want to experience the most creative and knowledgeable kitchen in Tampa, this is the place. – pork belly, Urbanspoon
With the aid of magazines, cooking shows, and the popular recipe rap battles that dominate YouTube, new foodies are being born every day. While they appear to be average citizens on the outside, these secret gourmands have their minds on their stomach and their stomach on their minds, maintaining encyclopedic hyper awareness of critically acclaimed chefs, international hideaway bistros, and new and dangerous uses for tarragon. What other amazing powers come with being a foodie?
- Ability to nod knowingly when waiter describes wine
- Ability to telekinetically reduce Twinkies back into base petroleum components to fuel moped
- Ability to use restroom at Subway without ordering anything
- Ability to control weather inside of steakhouses
- Ability to talk to and devour plants
Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires Feb 28, 2010. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per person, 1 per table. May purchase multiple as gifts. Tax and gratuity not included. No cash value. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.