The Side by Side Restaurant

3.9
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415 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 our chef 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, our harvest room, or with satisfying snacks and cocktails at the bar.
What 415 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.9based on recent ratings
3.9
food
3.8
service
4.1
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Moderate
70% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Nashville
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience3

The food took forever and we had to constantly ask for service

HP
HappyParents
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We enjoyed our meals at Side by Side. The only issue we had was that the menu had been modified because of graduation weekend in town. We were not aware of the change, so the menu was limited.

MS
MimiS
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Stayed at hotel for five nights. Had drinks there every night. Great bartender, i believe named John. Very helpful to us because we had never been to Tuscaloosa and he explained a lot to us! Thank you! Great dinner too! Mimi Smith Austin, Texas

RF
RobinF
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

We ordered drinks and appetizers, jalapeño margaritas that were good, pork belly app that was wonderful. We ordered the cornbread app but it didn’t get done so they brought fried okra until the cornbread came out. That was nice, but those were just ok. Our meals were Pasta with shrimp...good, the burger with pimento cheese was not wonderful. Chocolate cake was food service. The trouble came when they charged our card 3 times and couldn’t get the bill straight. Very frustrating.

K
vipKathryn
Birmingham
57 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious salads and burger and pork sandwich. Great service.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Birmingham
5 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Our waitress seemed too busy for us. It took awhile to get drinks and then to reorder them. She brought two of us the wrong cocktail and then it was so long before she replaced them. She was nice and all but didn’t do a good job serving.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had lunch with my student son. We had a lot of catching up to do, and were there for over 3 hours. Our server was fantastic, it was quiet, and the food was outstanding. Always enjoy this restaurant when I’m in town.

BL
vipBnLreview
Birmingham
13 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall3food2service1ambience4

The service was terrible. The server made a mistake in our order. Steaks were not cooked as we ordered and he forgot part of order. Management seemed to not give one iota about the errors.

CC
CCD1
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Our table of six received our meal in 5 separate trips from the kitchen, actually 6 trips considering my wife’s 4-5 oz filet (6 oz on the menu) arrived 5 minutes before her roasted root vegetables on the side. No one helped our main server who did not seem to be having her best night, although it was not a very busy night for a Saturday. I’m not sure why none of the other servers teamed up to deliver all the meals at once as they all seemed to be bunched at the kitchen. Several of the meals were not very hot by the time we were all served.

C
Cocoboy
Poconos
3 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall1food1service2ambience3

Ordered 2 salads and they were out of both. Wife had a pork shank and was hard as a rock. The other 4 all got ny strip steaks, 1 was pretty much raw. For the price we paid it was terrible. Manager took off pork dinner. Looks are better than the food.

LP
LindaP
Mobile
5 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The staff at Side by Side always make you feel welcome and are attentive without being intrusive. The food is the best in Tuscaloosa, and the chef is quite tolerant of special requests related to preparation (including substitutes from elsewhere on the menu). Side by Side is great for special occasions or just a fun night out. The wine menu is one of the best in town, and the cocktails are outstanding. This is my go-to place when I want to enjoy good food with friends or entertain visiting business associates.

R
Recommended
Anchorage
7 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience5

Noisy, poor service, good food, great piano, overall a 3 of 5. Different if you haven’t been before but after 4 times, ho hmm.

JR
JesseR
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience1

Well let me start by saying that I made a 6:00 pm reservation back in mid January 2020 for Valentines Day 2020. The wife and I arrived 10 minutes early and the restaurant was about half empty. The hostess found our reservation and seated us in the back of the restaurant at a bar table, on the side of the restaurant bar. I ask for a regular table and she told me that this table was the only table available with it being Valentine Day. After about ten minutes someone finally came over and took our drink order. While waiting we watched the restaurant start to fill up but there was a few empty tables the whole time we were there. After about 20 minutes someone finally found us and took our food order. The food was OK, but for the price it was subpar. For spending $150.00 dollars (no alcohol) one should get a decent meal. In addition while we had time to wait, the little area we were in was messy, dust on the seals, spider webs in the corners.

You know Valentine Day is a special day for couples and you want your dining experience to be good. I have to say they missed the mark this year. We have been going to Side by Side Restaurant for Valentines Day every year since they opened as it has been our tradition. After this year we are in search of a new and better Valentines Day restaurant experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience3

The valentine’s prices are criminal. Worst meal I have ever had and costed over $200 for 2 people. For that ridiculous price we could have gone to a real steakhouse and had great quality.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Birmingham
6 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Birthday dinner and everything was really nice but we had to ask for more water several times.

TW
vipTomW
Nashville
2 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall1food1service2ambience1

The food was below average the service was acceptable until the server rang up someone else’s tab and gave it to me instead of mine. To date it has yet to be removed from my AMEX.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Lamb was incredible as was the service

J
Jane
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience2

I was so disappointed in our dining experience. The food was wonderful, and the people were lovely, but it took nearly 3.5 hours. The waiter said he basically had the entire restaurant alone, which we could easily see. If it were not for good humored friends, we would have just walked out when it took nearly 40 minutes to get our first round of drinks.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was great - great vegetable plate, well-made Manhattan (I am very fussy), excellent soufflé.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience4

Not as good as usual this time.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2019
Overall3food5service1ambience5

The food was great! I appreciate the Manager’s attention to our table. We each ordered the cesar salad and ribeye. We also ordered the ham and cheese board as our appetizer.

G
Gram
Birmingham
15 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A delightful Thanksgiving meal!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience5

It’s our training happy hour but they don’t have happy hour for Sunday anymore

KC
KnobsCrew
Indiana
2 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We had brunch with our Bama student this past weekend. The food was delicious and the service and atmosphere were excellent.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience4

It was not a good experience! We waited for over an hour and the exact table we were finally seated at had stayed empty for an hour while we waited!!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Was surprised to see a very limited dinner menu. Said it was too busy for full menu due to Bama LSU game.
Crab soup was awesome. Cornbread app not good. Too crumbly.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Birthday dinner

OT
OpenTable Diner
Dallas
10 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

In for the LSU game

BB
BBQalabama
Birmingham
6 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall3food5service2ambience4

It was not very busy. It was a Tuesday night, early in the evening. When they prepped our table, they spilled water on the table and left it. After ordering drinks, we asked for a towel to wipe it up. The waitress brought us a towel and left it for us to clean it up. I felt that it took a little too long to get our orders, considering how slow it was. After eating, no one came to clear the table. The waitress took our order for dessert, but didn’t take any of the empty plates. We literally had to ask her to clear the table. The service was not very impressive.

DS
vipDebbS
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience5

Our experience was okay, the service was not great, but the food was really pretty good. We didn't try cocktails or dessert. I think the server was in a hurry to go home.

EL
vipEvanL
New York Area
34 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great service, nice inventive Southern brunch food, great value.

GS
vipGregS
Birmingham
11 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience2

We have eaten here before but unfortunately this time we just had appetizers and the chicken wings were so tough we could hardly get through the skin lots of fat too. The server was very nice and since we only ate two off of the plate he did take it back and take it off of our bill. It was an odd weekend with lots of rain and seemed to be a lot of cancellations but we were seated toward the front of the restaurant and the hostess turned numerous parties away yet the restaurant was mostly empty. Just not the best experience this time but we will probably try it again

K
vipKarl
Nashville
15 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My wife and I eat here regularly during football season. The location is downtown Tuscaloosa with lots of parking nearby and convenient to the stadium. We have never had a bad meal here and the service and staff is always exceptional and very friendly.
I highly recommend Side by Side.

B
vipBobby
Los Angeles
66 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome food and even better service. Ask for John and he’ll take good care of you.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

My food was extremely bland and loaded with small bones. It was slop in a bowl. Very poor presentation on the dish. All of our apps did not get brought. The first drink order cane after 20 minutes. The service was slow and we waited for water, and bottles of wine continuously. It was not crowded either. They did take my meal off the ticket. It was inedible. Very disappointing for a high end restaurant.

MN
vipMichaelN
Raleigh
6 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great brunch!!

VH
VanceH
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall1food2service3ambience2

The okra and the complimentary hummus appetizer were very good. The butter lettuce salad had no taste whatsoever. I finally asked for salt and pepper and lemon to try to make the shrimp and grits have some flavor

The worst part was the management or lack there of.
The front desk staff wore T-shirts as if they were going to a game. Even though I had a reservation for two at the bar four people were seated before us without a reservation. Had to ask why.

We ended up seated at a very busy part of the restaurant and during dinner witnessed fruit being delivered to the bar in the containers from Publix or some other grocery store. Buckets of ice were paraded through the restaurant even though there was another option. The crowning blow was a staff member dragging two large trash receptacles, I assume from the bar, right through the middle of the restaurant.

My wife says her French 75 was tasty
I can’t believe Chris Hastings has anything to do with this poorly run Establishment.

The bottom line is service if this quality is acceptable when the tab is $45 but not when it was $145

SH
vipSteveH
Birmingham
11 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Was in town for Alabama Tennessee game and ate around 6:00 pm on Friday night. Server was very helpful. Drink orders were taken/delivered quickly. The appetizers were excellent, but a couple of the entrees we had were a bit overcooked. I will however give management 4 gold stars because they actually cared and were at our table getting our feedback within like 2 minutes. Every kitchen can have a miss now and then and the positive attitude exhibited here will certainly bring us back again.

RR
RichardR
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food (short ribs and the pork). Nice ambiance (quiet) . We will definitely go back.

JW
JanetW
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Food was great, service should be better for the price of the food and the food price could come down some. The volume of the music could also come down some.

We had the oyster stew which was fabulous. The pork was a little tough for me but that is personal opinion.

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The Side by Side Restaurant is rated 3.9 stars by 415 OpenTable diners.

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