Why Go Through the Front Door When You Can Go Through the Side Door

SideDoor gastropub was carved out of the tiny lobby and bar in Five Crowns. To find it, look for a giant red key off Poppy Street and enter into a cozy room with wood-paneled walls. If you’re lucky, you’ll snag one of SideDoor’s two plushy couches. Otherwise, there are tall bar tables, rickety chairs close enough to the fireplace to warm your toes, or the semi-private wooden booths where you can lift a frosty mug undisturbed.

Once you’re seated, order up a picked-that-day wine flight, a frothy microbrew or a classic Five Crowns cocktail like the burly Boulevardier. Next, sample a good variety of meats and cheeses put together at the open charcuterie station. The daily changing small plates menu may range from kicked-up bar food such as prime rib chili cheese fries to more elegant items like salmon tartare with seasonal herbs and crème fraîche. Black tiger shrimp and clams are enhanced by a white wine Dijon broth. Other good choices are traditional pub plates like fish ‘n’ chips and chicken potpie. Burger aficionados will want to get here early this kitchen’s version, which features Kobe beef, white cheddar, red onion, bacon and Russian dressing, sells out pretty fast most nights.

At meal’s end, get a flight of dessert wines to share and enjoy it with treats like the almond plum tart. On Sundays, the venue rolls out a brunch experience with art, music, and limited release craft beer to accompany updated versions of classic fare.

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