The Side by Side Restaurant

4.4
267 reviews
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$30 and under
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Southern
Top Tags:
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Good for a Date
  • Bar Seating
Our restaurant takes a modern approach to blending Southern, French, and California-styles of cooking, set against the backdrop of downtown Tuscaloosa. The airy dining room and connecting bar offer ever-changing dishes and cocktails executed by Chef Chris Hastings and his team and are inspired by Alabama, the local farmer’s harvest, and other artisans of every kind. Relax and enjoy an intimate supper with us at the chef’s counter with front row views of the open kitchen, in the main dining room, the Rotunda, or with satisfying snacks and cocktails at the bar.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Southern, French, Californian
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Hours of operation
Monday through Saturday 11am to 11pm

Sunday 11am to 9pm
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Phone number
(205) 561-5500
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Chef Chris Hastings
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Catering
For Banquet space please contact Tameka Spencer (205) 561-5098
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Greensboro Ave.
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Parking details
Complimentary Valet Friday and Saturday starting at 5pm.
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Special events & promotions
We have the perfect space for any meetings, celebrations, and special events.
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Gift Card
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 267 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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5.0Dined on July 21, 2018

My wife and I had dinner here for our 13th anniversary. Everything was perfect...the ambiance, our wait staff, the food, all of it made for a very special evening. This was not our first time at Side by Side and it definitely won't be our last.

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5.0Dined on July 17, 2018

Very nice mid week night out. TJ was our server. He was new but very attentive to our needs and did a great job. I went with his rabbit tortellini recommendation and was pleased. Others enjoyed the burger (available from bar menu) and the fresh catch which was grouper.

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4.0Dined on June 6, 2018

Small Portion. Tomato Soup is salty that I could not finish it. Great service. The restaurant has a wide selection of Wines.

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4.0Dined on June 4, 2018

The food was mediocre but still one of the best places in T Town

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5.0Dined on June 4, 2018

We were delighted when Open Table led us to Side by Side. Well located in the Embassy Suites hotel, the overly ambitious food was complimented by the outstanding bartender and the by the glass wine list. Our server was outstanding - the real star! She helped us simplify our food orders to make it more to our liking and had just the right amount of attention...kept us attended to but gave us space to talk. We will go again when we return to Tuscaloosa.

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4.0Dined on May 18, 2018

We booked an early reservation because we were on our way to the softball regionals at Alabama. The restaurant was empty when we arrived so it is hard to say what the noise level would be if it were full. We were seated immediately at a table with a view. The service was excellent, attentive and pleasant without being intrusive. We ordered the fried oysters and fried okra as an appetizer to share. Both were too salty; so much that the first flavor you experienced was the salt. The breading on the oysters and the crab cakes I ordered for my entree was dark brown, a sure sign that they had been overcooked. No excuse for this when this restaurant has an association with Chris Hastings. In addition to the items on the menu our server listed several entrees from their new menu coming out the next week that were also available. My husband enjoyed his salmon. We have dined there before and really enjoyed it. We will again, but I will be sure to tell the server that I prefer my food without flecks of sea salt visible in the breading.

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3.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Food was hit or miss. Deviled egg and oyster appetizers were pretty good, burger was very dry, chicken was a bit salty but okay. The place was nice and clean and the service was good as well

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3.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Not up to usual standards.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Amazing food, service and atmosphere! Hidden gem in the Tuscaloosa / Northport area! Great menu selections and the kitchen showed a lot of finesse with the flavors, seasoning and execution of meals... We are adding this to our favorites for date nights and special occasions!!!!

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5.0Dined on May 11, 2018

Another enjoyable meal at The Side by Side. This evening we opted for small plates and seasonal salads. We started with the fried okra, chestnut cauliflower gratin, and the heirloom carrot agnolotti. All of these were very good, with the okra being the star. Our next visit may find me starting with a salad and having the okra as my entree (the chive aioli is good, but the okra requires nothing else). We then shared the beet, Caesar, and apple/almond/endive salads. The salads were all fresh and quite tasty. I highly recommend their take on the classic Caesar salad. It was a very nice evening!

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3.0Dined on May 5, 2018

Food was mediocre. Waitress was lovely. Atmosphere was okay.

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5.0Dined on May 5, 2018

Sons college graduation

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5.0Dined on May 5, 2018

We have dinner at Side by Side a few times while in Tuscaloosa. We went there on my daughter's graduation this spring from UA so it was very crowded and we we're lucky to have a reservation. We were seated promptly when we arrived and were served quickly. Everyone's meal was very good and the service was great. Will definitely go again.

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5.0Dined on May 3, 2018

Food was amazing, waitress had a very good personality! Love that place!

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3.0Dined on April 22, 2018

While the food was delicious, our overall experience was disappointing. My crab Benedict dish was served cold...when brought to the servers attention, she asked if I wanted it warmed up or a new dish prepared...reheating a cold dish, after no apology, was not the offer I expected from a restaurant associated w a James Beard winner. Another in my party inquired about the chicken and waffles while ordering our brunch...please tell us about the chicken...the server answered it was not boneless, but fried chicken breast and a leg, or maybe a drumstick, I’m not sure...well her lunch arrived, waffles, w boneless chicken strips....how could the server not know this small menu? And how could she not care enough to find out?
Finally, the website mentions a 20 foot Bloody Mary bar....well, the bar was certainly 20 feet or more, but the Bloody Mary ‘topping’ extended only 6 feet give or take a few inches.
Overall, I’m rather surprised Chris Hastings keeps his name attached to this restaurant...should we return to his other restaurants, it will be with caution. Our waitress lacked knowledge of her menu, was short and abrupt in her interaction with us and her blatant sarcasm was in poor taste and not well received. I’m embarrassed I chose the restaurant to bring my in laws for brunch. This is the first time in many years I only tipped 15 percent....and I struggled to justify that amount!

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5.0Dined on April 19, 2018

We had great food and a great experience on this visit. We have been going to the Side by Side since it opened in Tuscaloosa. We had many great dinners at this restaurant.

The cheese board and the butter lettuce salad is delicious.

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4.0Dined on April 13, 2018

Both the pork shoulder and the fried okra were very salty. For us to say that it had to be salty.

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1.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Very disappointed in our second visit to Side by Side. The kitchen staff failed badly and we waited over an hour for our entrees. We complained and the manager apologized profusely and we didn’t pay for the man course. When the entrees did arrive mine was cold while others were hot The appetizers were very good and desserts was tasty. We’ll give it another try because our first visit was very good. Service was very good.

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3.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Easter Sunday dinner.. Nice looking restaurant inside the embassy suites. Restaurant was moderately busy but not packed Slow but personable service. Ordered soup of the day. Came out cold by a runner. Took another 5 minutes to flag down our server. By then our entrees were delivered. Fish special was not cooked all the way through. Server removed both the soup and fish off our bill. Surprised that the manager did not visit our table.

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4.0Dined on March 16, 2018

We were in Tuscaloosa for the day and made a random reservation. We were almost the only people there because it was Spring Break. Friendly staff. Food pretty good.

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2.0Dined on March 4, 2018

I have eaten at this restaurant several time due to it's convenient location and being able to make reservations. It has never lived up to my expectations. this will be my last time.

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3.0Dined on March 3, 2018

Very loud. Some of the food was just ok.

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4.0Dined on February 25, 2018

The service was excellent;however, it was disappointing that the available menu had changed dramatically from the menu listed online. The fried oysters were excellent! The shrimp and grits were not the traditional shrimp and grits. I would give the restaurant another try.

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4.0Dined on February 24, 2018

We have been there many times and have always ha a good meal and good service. Roll Tide!

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1.0Dined on February 24, 2018

First time to try this restaurant and left severely disappointed. Service was so bad they didn’t even charge me for dinner. Had to go to bar to get my own drinks. When my food finally arrived it was cold. Manager did everything she could to recover but the dinner was a failure. Great looking spot and only place in town that uses OpenTable. Won’t try again.

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5.0Dined on February 21, 2018

Excellent service and food !

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4.0Dined on February 15, 2018

Despite being very busy for Valentine's Day, the food was prepared well and served in a timely manner. The staff seemed well trained and organized. Pleasant experience!

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5.0Dined on February 9, 2018

Great as always!

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5.0Dined on February 2, 2018

Excellent—I’ve never had a bad meal there.

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5.0Dined on January 31, 2018

Food was excellent. Third time visiting side by side, always great food. Did run into multiple beverage choices being unavailable. All in all a good visit.

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5.0Dined on January 23, 2018

Food is excellent! I ate here 3 times in 24 hours. First I had dinner with my local friends, then lunch the next day by myself and finally dinner at the bar, also by myself. The young waitress on the first night of dining with my friends was a bit stiff. She would come back to the table about once every five minutes during our three hour dinner and ask how everything was, disrupting our dining and conversation. When presenting the menu items that she served to us, she would spend ten minutes describing what we were about to eat and said it was one of her favorites when she was describing every dish we ordered. We were polite and listened, but by the time she left our table our food was luke warm or cold. Plus, although she was quite attractive, she never smiled. I began to think she was an artificial intelligence robot with a malfunction in her system. The bartenders, on the other hand, the young black girl at lunch, and the two young men at dinner were much better and less obtrusive, they were efficient and friendly and even smiled. All in all, the food was excellent, most of the staff was well trained, and the ambience was pleasant. I'll definitely dine here every time I visit Tuscloosa.

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5.0Dined on January 18, 2018

The staff at Side by Side were wonderful! They helped make my husband's birthday very special! They brought him a dessert with a lit candle and even took an instant photo of the 2 of us, placed it in a happy birthday card and the whole staff signed it! Will definitely be returning!

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4.0Dined on December 25, 2017

The service was very slow in general. In addition, the chef forgot having the dessert ready; and the waiter had to remind him. The food itself was excellent, however.

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5.0Dined on December 17, 2017

We came in for graduation and expected Brunch - for some reason the chef decided to only offer the dinner menu on a Sunday morning. I was upset that no one told us this when I called to confirm. I didn’t want Salmon at 11 am and there wasn’t an egg on the menu. The manager agreed to offer egg meals to our table which I appreciated and the service was very good. In the future offer Brunch at Brunch Time - don’t switch to the more expensive dinner menu just to try to make a buck.

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5.0Dined on December 16, 2017

We were there to celebrate my sons college graduation. We all enjoyed the food, the service was great and the atmosphere was good. Would definable recommend.

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5.0Dined on December 5, 2017

We went for my daughter's birthday. By FAR the best restaurant in Tuscaloosa. Every dish was delicious and our server was wonderful. Highly recommend!

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5.0Dined on November 29, 2017

The food was good, but I felt it was too pricey for what you receive.

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3.0Dined on November 25, 2017

This place isn’t bad just not anything to rave about for the money. I felt the wine selection was lacking not and my fathers steak came out cooked not the way he asked. He ordered medium well (yes he butchered a good steak) however it came out rare with the waiter agreeing. It was sent back but by the time it came back 15 minutes later, we were well into our meal ( the rest of us ordered fish). The fish was fine, but again nothing special .

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5.0Dined on November 23, 2017

Best place in Tuscaloosa

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4.0Dined on November 20, 2017

Service was good and professional and good was great.

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