The Side by Side Restaurant

4.4
290 reviews
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$30 and under
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Southern
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
We have two private dining areas, the first can accommodate up to 65 guests. Our smaller private dining area has seating for 12 guests.
Semi-private Dining Areas

Our restaurant has several areas than can accommodate smaller groups who wish to sit together in the same area. However, no tables can be moved.

For More Information Please Call: 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.
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 290 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
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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SB
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and atmosphere. Restaurant was quiet for a Saturday night, but Alabama was not playing in Tuscaloosa that weekend.

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JG
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was excellent from the service to the meal.

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K
Nashville
7 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We eat at Side by Side regularly and the food and service are always excellent.
Highly recommend.

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JM
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely delicious and wonderful setting outside. Such a great little spot and Sammie our waitress was incredible. We will definitely be back!

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VC
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 4

I would not recommend this restaurant. I have tried it three times and each time it is disappointing but this last time was the worst. Started with having to go to hostess and say after sitting at our table for over 30 minutes. The hostesses were very apologetic about no service but a male manager dismissed me and started that would be with us in a few minutes. Finally got waitress and drinks were wrong and had to be redone. Entrees three out of five were cold. The protein was warm but potatoes were refrigerator cold. The manager told us they would redo but we had waited so long. They didn’t charge us but such a disappointment. The final problem is one of my guests wanted dessert but we were not offered a menu. Started bad and never got better!

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H
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 1

Okay, meal not worth the price, ate outside it was a hot night and they turned the heaters on.

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ND
Detroit
9 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food in a comfortable atmosphere!

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PW
Charleston
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

We put on Open Table that one member of our party was vegan. I called to confirm that there would be a vegan option for him the day of the dinner. The lady who answered the phone got with the chef (she said) and he said they will have plenty of items for him. When it came time to order, the server looked extremely puzzled and said he didn't know of any vegan options but wanted to ck with the chef. He basically said all there would be is a salad. When they delivered his meal it was cold vegetables and a very small portion.
Our fish was fine but this was a HUGE disappointment. Just tell people when they call...there are NOT vegan options!

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M
Salt Lake City
7 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 4

The last two times we have been here, the service has been ridiculously slow. Once for a pre-concert dinner and once for a Sunday brunch. The restaurant was about 1/2 occupancy both times, so you can't blame it on being busy. This used to be one of our favorites in Tuscaloosa, but probably will avoid it in the future.

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MS
Dallas
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

Small vegetable portion. Ribeye steak was good just could have used a better vegetable portion than one bite of a couple of vegetables. Would not recommend.

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JM
Houston
10 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great spot! Excellent, attentive service, great ambience! The food was very good, a bit pricey but worth it. A very, very nice spot in Tuscaloosa.

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HM
Tallahassee
12 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very good. Beer was served cold, My catch of the day (red snapper) was excellent along with the succotash. Shrimp and avocado salad was spot on as well. Really enjoyed it. We dined there before and after the game we liked it so much.

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OT
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Overall very good

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B
New Orleans
5 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had never been here. The food was outstanding. The only complaint at our table was a gentleman that ordered the fish felt the portion was too small. But everyone loved the appetizers, salads, and main course. Would’ve liked a bit more variety on the dessert menu but the food was outstanding! Great job!

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

It was very romantic for an anniversary dinner and they gave us a free desert and took a Polaroid picture of us and all of the waiter signed a happy anniversary card.

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j
Atlanta
14 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

We were very disappointed with this restaurant. The staff was friendly but the food was not. Shells in oyster stew, lamb shank hard to cut off bone, etc etc.

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KM
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Most innovative menu in Tuscaloosa. World class service and high quality ingredients, the side by side is the place to go celebrate any special occasion.

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b
Birmingham
4 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Grilled Chicken Club with a sweet tea was delicious for lunch!

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b
Birmingham
5 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

The food was really amazing! The only issue we ran into happened when we moved our reservation for us to a 15-minute later time(at our request) --we ended up as a no-show on Open Table, so I`m dealing with that --
And the bar menu is really good, very reasonable in terms of price, but we had to request that menu to get one ( and for two people, they brought only one), and this was from a different server ---ours never mentioned it.

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OT
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great staff, food and experience

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MM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Service was top notch. Shrimp and grits were fantastic, loved the added thinly sliced country ham on top. What a great addition. Steak was a bit tough but ok. Wish they had the skirt steak with chimichurri sauce still, that was fantastic! Whiskey sour was not so great. Love the atmosphere here.

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AL
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

Under staffed. Slow and very inattentive service. Food quality was ok but served cold due to staffing issues. Third time we have been to this restaurant and have not been impressed. Shame as Tuscaloosa needs some good restaurants.

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OT
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, excellent service, waiter very knowledgeable of the menu

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MR
Tallahassee
3 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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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M
1 review
Dined on July 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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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VN
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

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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l
Western NC
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

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

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SP
Tampa
12 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

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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S
Birmingham
5 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

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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OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

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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TD
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Not up to usual standards.

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AS
Nashville
2 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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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DC
Birmingham
6 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

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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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

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

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Sons college graduation

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l
Miami
20 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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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C
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

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

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RO
New England
1 review
Dined on April 22, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

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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ZD
1 review
Dined on April 19, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 3ambience 5

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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C
Indiana
28 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 2ambience 5

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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