Connoisseur Burgers & Curated Wine Pairings at Sideways by CTT

The Place

Named after the 2004 blockbuster hit Sideways – a darkish comedy about two buddies’ wine tasting street journey that grievously staggers sideways in the direction of mid-life disaster – Sideways by Cellar to Desk shares the identical deep-rooted affinity for wine because the movie’s foremost character, sans the tragedy.

Picture by Sophie Steiner/That is

Sister restaurant to – you guessed it – Cellar to Desk (and Napa Wine Bar & Kitchen), whereas the previous is a Mediterranean bistro (learn our overview of it right here), Sideways by Cellar to Desk is all about easy consolation meals with a robust emphasis on wine exploration.

Assume burgers, pastas, salads, and a smattering of Spanish tapas for good measure – with every particular person dish paired with a particular glass of wine.

Picture by Sophie Steiner/That is

Picture by Sophie Steiner/That is

Picture by Sophie Steiner/That is

Whereas coupling boutique classic wines with stacked burgers dripping with grease, gooey cheese and smarmy sauce could appear at odds with each other, the pairing of the 2 embodies the movie’s takeaway, in addition to the ethos of the restaurant; it’s not in regards to the caliber of the vineyard, the precise classic nor the price of the bottle.

As an alternative, it must be in regards to the second through which it’s skilled – the individuals you’re with, the scrumptious meals you’re consuming (no matter extravagance degree), and the enjoyment you are feeling whereas consuming that wine.

And belief us, we really feel all the enjoyment whereas crushing a bacon and cheddar burger, washing it down with a crisp Provence rosé.

Idea confirmed profitable.

The Meals & Wine

After opening in November 2022 with an entirely Spanish tapas menu, this previous spring the crew determined to pivot in the direction of easy-to-understand – and expertly executed – dishes designed by Chilean Chef Francisco Javier Araya and desserts by associate and Head Pastry Chef Fernanda, each from Cellar to Desk and Napa Wine Bar & Kitchen.

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The aim of the swap? So wine can proceed to take heart stage as a wider Shanghai viewers prioritizes studying a couple of broader choice of wines.

And a broader choice of wines is precisely what Sideways boasts – over 300 varietals, largely ranging in value from RMB300-600 per bottle, with no scarcity of small batch vintages and area of interest wines.

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However the crew, led by proprietor and wine importer Philippe Huser, takes it a step additional, with considerate pairings, and QR-scannable bottles so company can order the wines they style straight to their door for subsequent day enjoyment.

They even provide wine supply by the glass – in one-time use cans – so diners can recognize the pairings each within the restaurant and on their sofa at house.

Genius. Step apart canned cocktails; canned wine is now within the limelight.

So let’s get into the meat of this text – actually – starting with the point of interest of the meals menu: burgers.

A seared foie gras, onion ring and BBQ sauce-topped cheeseburger paired with a sturdy 2011 Chateau Cheval Blanc Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classe A, clocking in at RMB880 for a 75ml pour…

Alright, you’ve caught our consideration; we’re listening.

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One of many restaurant’s signature burgers, named after Sideways’ protagonist, the Miles (RMB140) is an homage to the film’s climactic scene the place the primary character – in all his wallowing angst – decides to drink his prized bottle of Chateau Cheval Blanc (the identical wine that’s served proper right here in Shanghai along with his namesake burger) at an on a regular basis diner, paired with – you guessed it – a burger.

However not simply any burger might be eaten with such a revered bottled. So, in fact, Sideways delivers with a hefty 70-gram slab of foie gras, a crispy onion ring, tangy BBQ sauce, and cheddar, atop an Australian Angus beef patty, all nestled between two do-it-yourself toasted brioche buns.

It’s cheeky.

It’s indulgent.

It’s extreme.

And it’s precisely what a wine of that caliber deserves to be paired with.

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A heart-on-your-sleeve love tune to smoky bacon, the Jack’s BLT (RMB110) options an Australian Angus beef patty (charred on the flat high and completed within the Combi oven), cheddar, tomato, lettuce, secret sauce, and corrugated crisp ribbons of American-style bacon that exude a smoky fragrance harking back to a yard BBQ on a sunny summer time day.

Which is precisely why this textbook burger is served alongside a chilly glass of Chateau La Mascaronne Cotes de Provence Rose (RMB65), a crisp, light-bodied rosé that cuts via the meat’s unctuousness.

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Named after the breakfast joint frequented by the primary character of the film, the Solvang Breakfast (RMB105) is all about that sunny aspect up jammy egg yolk sheathing a juicy beef burger, amped up by a shitake mushroom cap and melted cheddar.

This brunch-worthy burg is paired with a fruit-forward glass of Domaine de Sulauze’s Cochon Vin de France (RMB65) – so refreshing you might drink it any time of the day. Breakfast wine anybody?

Apart from the trio of burgers we sampled, there are two others at the moment on the menu, with extra seasonal sliders on the best way.

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Positively not a burger, however simply as deserving of a wine pairing, the Spicy Chick (RMB80) is a glorified fried hen sandwich deserving of solely the very best of praises.

That includes breaded hen thigh (seasoned with cayenne, thyme and oregano), tomato, lettuce and a fiery secret sauce on plush, do-it-yourself ciabatta, the spicy warmth is tempered by the recommended wine pairing, a dry Sybille Kuntz Riesling Spätlese (RMB115).

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Traditional Cali-Baja tacos, the Maya’s Tacos (RMB80) see two flour tortillas filled with fried inexperienced cod, salsa, coleslaw and pickled shallots.

Straightforward going and vibrant in taste, it represents the vivacious persona of the film character of the identical title, and paired with an equally bubbly Champagne Dehours Brut Reserve (RMB125).

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For tapas snacking, the same old suspects make a exhibiting: Gambas al Ajillo (RMB85) – springy shrimp with the proper snap, coated in garlic chips and pink chili, arriving tableside nonetheless scorching…

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… Gilda (RMB38) – the unique pintxo from San Sebastián that helped put the Basque culinary powerhouse on the map with its briny mixture of anchovies threaded via inexperienced olives and pickled guindilla chili peppers…

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… Iberico Croqueta (RMB58) with Iberico ham, flecks of chorizo and luscious bechamel…

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… and maybe one of the best rendition of Callos a la Madrileña (RMB88) to be present in Shanghai – a Spanish stew normally eaten at house, meticulously ready by the matriarch of the family utilizing a coveted secret recipe that pricey ol’ abuela vows to solely share on her demise mattress.

Tender slices of braised beef tripe soften right into a spiced tomato stew, adorned with onyx blood pudding – barely smoky, candy, with dense minerality.

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Transferring onto dessert, made by steeping thick orange pores and skin in milk in a single day, the nice and cozy sugary notes of the custardy Flan (RMB45) are balanced by citrus, dribbled in a sticky caramel.

Basque Cheesecake (RMB55), Picture by Sophie Steiner/That is

Picture by Sophie Steiner/That is

The treacly Arroz con Leche (RMB50) – or rice pudding – is spiced with cinnamon, cloves and star anise, all imbued within the milk that cooks the rice, leading to a creamier physique.

A dollop of dulce de leche is mixed into the milk foam then brûléed for a crackly saccharine crust, lending a crème brûlée’s finest part to this candy end.

And, if you happen to can’t get sufficient of those standout desserts, Sideways will quickly be launching a day tea with much more dessert and pastry choices.

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Among the best offers round, Sideways’ Lunch Set (RMB98) consists of one starter – Tomato Salad, Kale Chopped Salad, or Fried Calamari – one foremost – Sideways Burger, The Spicy Chick, or Spaghetti Meatballs – and diners can add on dessert for an additional RMB20, selecting from Arroz con Leche or Tiramisu.

So basically, you’re scoring this meal for lower than the price of most burgers on the menu.

Can’t afford to not.

The Vibe

Positioned in MixC, flanked by different in style Shanghai retailers – Lokal, Fascino, Luneurs, Xibo, and Dairy Queen, to call a couple of – the Cellar to Desk area is vibrant and alluring with ground to ceiling home windows and a central bar with hanging wine glasses that catch the daylight in a luminescent glow.

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Ample outside area makes it a really perfect venue for all-day eating, additional exemplifying the restaurant’s key idea that having fun with a glass of wine isn’t reserved just for advantageous eating or particular events.

Picture by Sophie Steiner/That is

Worth: RMB100-400

Who’s Going: Guests of MixC, Cellar to Desk followers, winos within the know

Good For: Unpretentious wine pairings, elevated burger consumption, consolation meals performed properly

Sideways by Cellar to Desk, e103, 1/F, 111 Shanxi Bei Lu, by Tiantong Lu, 山西北路111号L层e103室, 近天潼路.

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[Cover image by Sophie Steiner/That’s]

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