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Durty Nelly’s

Concierge Q & A

Concierge_Phil-Osborne

A member of Les Clefs d’Or, Phil Osborne holds a diploma in hospitality management from the Irish Tourism Board and is the current delegate-experience team supervisor at the Halifax Convention Centre. Originally from Manchester, U.K., Phil lived in Ireland, New York, and Vancouver before settling in Halifax.

Q: What’s your pick for May’s top events for visitors?
A:
 On May 2, the Halifax waterfront (at 1549 Lower Water Street) hosts the all-ages outdoor East Coast Music Awards Kick-Off Concert. This free show features some of Atlantic Canada’s top musical talents.

Q: What Halifax-area spot do you recommend for a relaxed weekend brunch?
A: 
My favourite go-to spot for brunch is usually Robie Street Station. Since 2014 it’s been serving a great all-day breakfast and brunch. My favourite dish is the Remedy: two eggs with potatoes and a biscuit, plus your choice of pork belly, bacon, pulled pork, or fruit. It’s a great start to your day!

Q: What’s your pick for a lively night on the town with friends?
A: 
Well that would be Durty Nelly’s, especially when there’s live music. In the heart of the downtown (and just steps from the Nova Centre and Scotiabank Centre), this Irish pub is a great spot to have a few drinks, have a laugh, and meet some new friends. The menu features burgers, wings, nachos, and Irish-pub favourites like fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, and curry.

Q: Where do you suggest for a romantic dinner for two?
A: 
For a romantic dinner, I would always recommend Gio at the Prince George Hotel on Market Street. Don’t think of it as a hotel restaurant; it’s a restaurant with its own identity, a great globally-inspired menu, creative cocktails, comfortable private seating, and top-notch service.

Q: What’s the best thing about May in Halifax?
A: 
The changing weather and then the patios beginning to appear around the downtown core. When the patios and beer gardens open you know summer is just around the corner and the vibe in the city changes, becoming even more upbeat and welcoming.

Q: What’s a great day-trip destination for visitors to Halifax this month?
A: McNabs Island 
is an overlooked gem of a tourist spot for a day trip. Take the Harbour Taxi (harbourtaxi.ca) out to the Island and spend the day on the trails. Kattuk Expeditions (kattukexpeditions.com) offers a popular McNab’s Island Sunset Kayak Tour: you can kayak to the island and then sit, relax, and watch the sunset over chocolate fondue with fresh fruit.

August Concierge Q&A

Stephen Morris has worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years, starting out in Lake Louise, Alberta as a bellman. In the past nine years, he’s returned to the role of concierge and has been an active member of Les Clefs d’Or, Atlantic Region. He sees himself as “an ambassador” for the Prince George Hotel and the city of Halifax.

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What’s your favourite way to spend a summer afternoon in Halifax?

My idea of a great summer afternoon in Halifax is head to the waterfront and the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market. Grab a wrap to go at Wrap So D and head out to one of the many sit-down spots and enjoy the sun. Then I would move on down the boardwalk and enjoy a sweet waffle cone from Sugah. Your stroll along the waterfront will burn off all those tasty calories, unless you head back for a second scoop.

What’s the best place to find a locally made Halifax souvenir?

My go-to place for my guests is Amos Pewter in the Historic Properties on Lower Water Street. So many handcrafted gifts and souvenirs that truly embody Nova Scotia. You are sure to find something to take home with you.

What’s your pick for this month’s can’t-miss events?

If you like live music and outdoor fun you won’t want to miss the Dutch Mason Blues Festival happening in Alderney Landing in Dartmouth from August 7 to 9. Located right on the waterfront, it’s a short ride from downtown on the Halifax Transit ferry.

If you had one day in Halifax, how would you spend it?

I would wake up and head over to Steve-O-Reno’s on Brunswick Street and grab a coffee and a bite then head up towards the Halifax Public Gardens and enjoy a nice stroll, a breath of fresh air and take in the beautiful scenery. I would then head over to the Halifax Citadel and watch the firing of the Noon Gun… As I make my way to the waterfront I would grab a bite to eat at Durty Nelly’s on Argyle Street and enjoy a cold beer on the patio. After that I would head to Murphy’s The Cable Wharf where I would get on the Harbour Hopper and enjoy a fun, fact-filled tour of the city and harbour. To top the day off I would relax with a glass of wine and some excellent food at The Bicycle Thief, located in Bishop’s Landing on the waterfront.

What’s your favourite spot for a romantic dinner for two in Halifax?

My recommendation would be The Press Gang on Prince Street. It offers an excellent menu and the lighting is dimmed for a truly romantic ambience. If you are dining on a Friday or Saturday, you will be treated to the jazzy Mike Cowie Trio as you enjoy your meal.

March Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

Cheese Curds

Cheese Curds

BURGER CELEBRATION

Over 60 restaurants and burger joints across Halifax mark Burger Week from March 19 to 25, with many places offering $5 burgers. Here are some of the highlights.

•With two locations in Halifax (at Gus’ Pub on Agricola Street in the North End and Bearly’s on Barrington Street in the South End), Ace Burger Co. specializes in gourmet burgers and po’boy sandwiches with all the fixings and hand-cut fries.
•Downtown on Argyle Street, Flipburger has over 10 signature burgers plus house-made sauces and fresh-cut fries. Its Blue Cheese and Bacon burger boasts fresh blue cheese, sautéed mushrooms and local double-smoked bacon.
•In Dartmouth, head over to Cheese Curds Gourmet Burgers and Poutinerie on Pleasant Street where Chef Bill Pratt serves up a bevy of burger options, including pork, salmon, lamb, vegetarian and beef dressed any way you like.

Photo: Tammy Fancy

Photo: Tammy Fancy

NEW DIGS

One of Halifax’s busiest Thai restaurants, Talay Thai has a new home on the corner of Hollis and Morris streets in Halifax’s South End. Now fully wheelchair accessible, the new restaurant boasts the same Thai cuisine as ever (try the spicy Pat Chaa Beef to warm up a cold day). Check out the inexpensive lunch menu, featuring many signature dishes.

Photo: Trevor J. Adams

Photo: Trevor J. Adams

EDITOR’S CHOICE

With a creative menu, sweeping views of Halifax Common and free underground parking, Seasons by Atlantica is one of Halifax’s best-kept lunch secrets. Dishes like crispy-fried haddock and curried-chicken flatbread are just the thing to power you through an afternoon of adventures.

Clam-Pie2-web

BIGGER PIECE OF THE PIE

Specializing in thin crust, New York Italian-style pizza for over 20 years, Salvatore’s Pizzaiolo has doubled its seating capacity (and expanded its kitchen space) thanks to a recent renovation. The landmark pizzeria in the Hydrostone Market of Halifax’s North End now seats 35 people, retaining its signature Italian-style stucco walls and décor but with a chic new bar area. The restaurant has also expanded its drinks menu, offering more wine options as well as local brews on tap, including beers by Big Spruce and Boxing Rock.

Old Triangle

Old Triangle

TOAST THE GOOD TIMES

Your Father’s Moustache on Spring Garden Road has an extensive menu with tasty items like ribs, club sandwiches and nachos, plus three signature beers created by RockBottom brew master Greg Nash.
•Downtown on Prince Street, the Old Triangle Irish Alehouse is a large, three-room pub with live entertainment nightly and no cover charge. A great spot for meeting friends, the Old Triangle has a classic pub menu and serves weekend brunch.
•Get a taste of Irish comfort at Durty Nelly’s on the corner of Argyle and Sackville streets. Hear a local band and enjoy a pint of your favourite brew while digging into traditional Irish dishes like corned beef and cabbage.