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da Maurizio Fine Dining

HOT DINING

Bar Kismet is a new addition to the Halifax scene, but already becoming a favourite.

By Trevor J. Adams.

COCKTAIL HOUR
If you’re serious about your cocktails, you must visit stylish Bar Kismet on Agricola Street. The ever-changing menu features premium ingredients from around the world. At press time, the drink selection included Cinematographers Party (bonded bourbon whiskey, Italian Digestif, fresh yellow plum and lemon, honey, red wine float), 2 Of Americano’s Most Wanted (bottled carbonated cocktail: French and Italian aperitif, red vermouth, French aperitif wine), and Cartoon Graveyard (mezcal, arugula, pineau des charantes, bogarts bitters).

A RESTO WITH A STORY
The Watch That Ends The Night pairs an ambitious name with an ambitious concept. 2016 Gold Medal Plates winner Mark Gray helms the kitchen at the Dartmouth cocktail and wine bar. He focuses on “developing a new Canadian cuisine” through curing and fermenting local seasonal ingredients. It’s named for Hugh MacLennan’s eponymous 1958 novel, sharing an aesthetic with the same North American late-modern tastes.

ASIAN APPETITE
• In a historic building on the corner of Morris and Hollis streets, Talay Thai serves up heaping portions of traditional dishes like Gung Pad Pik Pow (basil prawn with chili paste), Pla Muek Tod Katem (garlic shrimp), and curries aplenty.
• Japanese fine dining, showcasing traditional and fusion dishes, is on offer at Sushi Nami Royale. Check it out at locations on Queen Street in the heart of the downtown, Lacewood Drive in Clayton Park, Hector Gate in Dartmouth Crossing, and the Bedford Highway.
• Don’t let the strip-mall exterior or industrial-park cul-de-sac location deter you: Dhaba Casual Fine Dining & Express on Oland Crescent serves some of the tastiest Indian food around. The volcanic chicken vindaloo is a Halifax favourite.

STEAK EXPECTIONS
For an opulent and unforgettable dining experience, Cut Steakhouse is the downtown’s go-to destination. Contemporary and classy, Cut emphasizes world-class service, with beef dry-aged on site. By Robert Risley, the restaurateur behind popular Halifax spots like Bistro Le Coq, East of Grafton Tavern, and Waterfront Warehouse.

THE FINER THINGS
Tucked away in historic Brewery Market on Lower Water Street, da Maurizio Fine Dining is a perennial local favourite. The rustic cuisine of Northern Italy inspires Chef Andrew King, as he offers classics like veal scaloppine sautéed with fresh lobster, seared breast of Brome Lake duck, and spicecrusted rack of lamb. An expertly curated wine list and top-notch service complement the experience.

SMALL PLATES, BIG TASTES
Foodies flock to Highwayman Restaurant & Bar on Barrington Street for Spanish-inspired share plates and original cocktails. This cozy, up-market option serves a menu of seafood, cured meats, cheeses, and more. Pair your meal with a selection from the carefully-curated wine list and save room for a decadent dessert.

EDITOR’S PICK: FLAVOUR FIESTA
Don’t let the humble exterior fool you: loyal foodies jam Mexico Lindo on Dutch Village Road every night. Fiery home-style Mexican cuisine is the house specialty. The menu includes explosively flavourful offerings like burritos, enchiladas, chimichangas, tacos, and more.

 

CONCIERGE Q & A

Angela O’Brien, senior executive host at Casino Nova Scotia.

By Trevor J. Adams

Angela O’Brien is the senior executive host at Casino Nova Scotia on Upper Water Street. She graduated from Saint Mary’s University and has a true love for Halifax. She is a professional affiliate with Les Clefs d’Or Canada, which has provided her great opportunities for creating partnerships within the hospitality community.

What’s an ideal destination in the Halifax area for a late-night snack?
Antojo Taco + Tequila on Argyle Street has expanded to a late night Munchies Nocturnos menu and serves tacos until 1:30 a.m. Thursday to Saturday. It’s a great addition to the late night food scene in downtown Halifax!

If you only had one day in Halifax this month, how would you spend it?
Have to start with a coffee at Coffee Matters in the Brewery Market on Lower Water Street, explore the Halifax Brewery Farmers Market and take a stroll down the Halifax waterfront. Stop by to see Julie for an afternoon tour of the Halifax Distillery, and learn how JD Shore rum is crafted. No tour is complete without a tasting! For dinner I would go to one of my all-time favorites, da Maurizio. Great Italian food and excellent service in a romantic setting. My favorite dish is the gnocchi; I highly recommend it!

Who’s your favourite newcomer to the city’s dining and nightlife scene?
Bar Kismet recently opened on Agricola Street and is absolutely charming. The casual quaint atmosphere is a great place to share small or large unique plates with a great selection of craft cocktails.

Where should visitors go to find a unique memento of their visit to Halifax?
Amos Pewter in the Historic Properties on the Halifax waterfront has quality hand-crafted Nova Scotia products. A great selection of jewelry, ornaments, and household items to start your Christmas list.

What’s the most common question visitors ask you about Nova Scotia?
What’s the must-see-and-do activity in Nova Scotia? My answer is always to hike the Skyline Trail along the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton. It’s an easy seven-kilometre hike with stunning views of the ocean and rolling green landscape. It’s a great place to watch the sun set and you may even see a moose up close and personal.

 

Hot Dining

Dining_NSLC-Festival-of-Whisky

WONDERFUL WHISKY

If you’re a whisky aficionado, March 1 to 3 is the time to be in Halifax, as the city hosts the NSLC Festival of WhiskyAttendees will experience some of the world’s finest whiskies at the Grand Tasting, featuring some 170 selections. Highlights also include the Single Malt Whisky Dinner at Chives Canadian Bistro, while Casino Nova Scotia hosts an exploration of Scottish distilleries and a Single Malt Scotch Master Class.

 

Dining_Durty-Nellys

LUCK OF THE IRISH

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Halifax? Locals love these spots for jolly all-day celebrations.

—On March 17, the line will start forming at sun-up outside The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse on Prince Street. Enjoy traditional music throughout the day, a pint of ale from the old sod, and Irish cuisine like lamb stew.

—A local favourite for a tipple with friends, Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub on Argyle Street boasts an array of popular pub grub, including Emerald Isle favourites like bangers and mash, fish and chips, and chicken curry. Wash it down with a local ale, or an imported Irish brew.

—Across the harbour in Dartmouth, Jamieson’s Irish Pub on Cumberland Drive is a must for local-beer explorers, with 16 taps showcasing Nova Scotia’s best. The bar boasts a broad selection of premium whisky and rum.

 

Dining_Craft-Beer-Cottage-Party

NOVA SCOTIA’S BEST

Continuing through March 15, the Savour Food & Wine Festival features a series of special events celebrating the province’s culinary offerings. Highlights include Dine Around (special prix fixe menus at participating restaurants, showcasing local flavours) and the Craft Beer Cottage Party on March 3—a beer festival showcasing dozens of local brewers.

 

Dining_da-Maurizio

THE FINER THINGS

Tucked away in historic Brewery Market on Lower Water Street, da Maurizio Fine Dining is a perennial local favourite. The rustic cuisine of Northern Italy inspires Chef Andrew King, as he offers classics like fresh pasta, Atlantic lobster, duck, lamb, and more. An expertly curated wine list and top-notch service complement the experience.

 

Dining_Morris-East

PIZZA PERFECTION

—Intimate Morris East, just steps from the waterfront on Morris Street, pairs wood-fired gourmet pizza with local beer and wine. Not venturing downtown? Visit the newer location on Nine Mile Drive in Bedford West.

—New York-Italian cuisine rules at Salvatore’s Pizzaiolo Trattoria on Young Street in the historic Hydrostone Market. If you’re not in the mood for the signature pie, the hearty meatball hero is one of Halifax’s most popular sandwiches.

—Just steps from the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market on Marginal Road, Tomavinos boasts an assortment of popular Italian pizza and pasta creations.

—If you love pizza, you won’t want to miss Ristorante a Mano on Lower Water Street. The Pancetta, Poplpette e Funghi (crispy pancetta, house-made meatballs, wild mushrooms, fresh mozzarella) is a local favourite.

—Recently selected by the editors as one of Where Canada’s 10 Best New Restaurants, Rinaldo’s on Windsor Street has quickly become a neighbourhood favourite, with creative pizzas, mighty sandwiches, and weekend brunch.

 

Dining_Mexico-Lindo

FIERY FLAVOURS *Editor’s Pick*

Don’t let the humble exterior fool you: loyal foodies jam Mexico Lindo on Dutch Village Road every night of the week. Fiery home-style Mexican cuisine is the house specialty. The menu includes explosively flavourful offerings like burritos, enchiladas, chimichangas, tacos, and more.

 

April Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

Photo: Bruce Murray/VisionFire

Photo: Bruce Murray/VisionFire

PASTA PERFECTION
Pasta reaches new palate-pleasing heights at da Maurizio Fine Dining, located downtown in the Historic Properties. Using time-honoured techniques, Chef/owner Andrew King makes a range of pasta from scratch with recipes that feature flavourful local ingredients. Try the fettuccine with lobster for a truly decadent entrée.

Photo: Janice Hudson

Morris East. Photo: Janice Hudson

EXPANDING HORIZONS
Specializing in wood-fired pizza, Morris East has revamped and expanded the bar at its downtown location on Morris Street in Halifax’s South End. With ample space for wine storage, the new bar now offers more wines by the glass, plus two local craft beers on tap: its exclusive Morris East Fire Tap beer by Garrison Brewing and a rotating local seasonal beer.

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Athens Restaurant

 

EDITOR’S CHOICE
Athens Restaurant on Quinpool Road in Halifax’s West End has been the go-to breakfast spot for more than 30 years. Be sure to get there early on weekends as the booths fill up fast. Come back for lunch and try flavourful Greek specialties like lamb souvlaki, calamari and moussaka.

Edna

Edna

NORTH END FLAVOURS
•One of Halifax’s hottest eateries, Edna offers a unique dining experience in a revitalized part of Gottingen Street. Sit at the communal dining table made of salvaged barn board for a fun group-dining atmosphere. The menu showcases what’s fresh: sample local oysters, free-range chicken, and charcuterie from nearby Ratinaud French Cuisine.
•Heading north on Agricola Street, Agricola Street Brasserie boasts home-style French cuisine with ingredients from local suppliers and farms. Watch Chef Ludovic Eveno and his team at work in the open-concept kitchen. They make the charcuterie, sausages, breads, desserts and more on-site from scratch.

Woody’s Bar-B-Q

Woody’s Bar-B-Q

FAMILY FUN
Woody’s Bar-B-Q in Hector Gate, Dartmouth Crossing has a menu of authentic Southern classics that will please even the fussiest eater. Choose from baby-back ribs, beef brisket and pulled pork, among much more. On Mondays, kids eat for free from 3 p.m. to close. Recently renovated, the restaurant now has a children’s play area.

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COZY VIBE
Fireplaces dot the interior of The Fireside on Sackville Street, the perfect spot for whiling away a chilly spring evening over a Spanish coffee or an inventive martini. Drop in on a Monday and the martinis are half price. Nosh on a gourmet sandwich, French onion soup or warm spinach salad.