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Festival of Wines

Hot Dining

GRAPE THINGS AHEAD
Running from Sept. 25-28, the Festival of Wines is a popular annual celebration of wines of the world. This year, the focus is on South American vintages. Events include a Winemaker’s Dinner at the Stubborn Goat on Sept. 25 with Argentine vintner German Buk, an exploration of the wines of Chile at Antojo Taco + Tequila on Sept. 26, and a Grand Tasting on Sept. 27 and 28 at the Cunard Centre on the Halifax waterfront.

STEAK A CLAIM
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. From the restaurateur behind popular Halifax spots like Bistro Le Coq, East of Grafton Tavern, and Waterfront Warehouse.

HAPPY HOUR
If you’re serious about your cocktails, you must visit stylish Bar Kismet on Agricola Street. The ever-changing drink menu features premium ingredients from around the world. At press time, the selection included The Space Cowboy (aquavit, coconut, Peruvian pisco, dry white vermouth, Italian amaro, Buddha’s Hand) and Return Of Su-Mac (mezcal, fig, sherry, sumac, quinaquina aperitif, rhubarb root amaro, orange, and Boker’s Bitters). You’ll also find craft beer and fine ales aplenty, paired with an artful and ever-changing little tasting menu.

SOUTH OF THE BORDER
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.

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.

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 scaloppini sautéed with fresh lobster, seared breast of Brome Lake duck, and spice-crusted rack of lamb. An expertly curated wine list and top-notch service complement the experience.

FLAVOURS OF ASIA

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Located just steps from the waterfront boardwalk on Bedford Row: the Great Wall has long been a local favourite for Chinese cuisine. Cantonese and Szechuan specialties abound, plus Sunday Dim Sum.

Hot Dining

Dining_Glitter-Bean-Café

ALL THAT GLITTERS

Glitter Bean is a new queer-friendly (and welcoming to all) café, a block west of the Halifax Public Gardens on Spring Garden Road. Relaxed and funky, it offers organic fair-trade coffee, specialty drinks, baked goods, and snacks.

 

Dining_Fredie's-Fantastic-Fish-House
Photo: Trevor J. Adams

QUICK, CASUAL, TASTY

Fredie’s Fantastic Fish House on Oland Crescent in Bayers Lake is a local favourite for fish and chips. Light batter, fresh haddock, generous portions, friendly service, and relaxed diner atmosphere.

Bill Pratt—the restaurateur behind Cheese Curds Gourmet Burgers + Poutinerie and Habaneros Modern Taco Bar—recently unveiled Fish + Chix on Windmill Road in Dartmouth. Specialties include fried haddock and chips, tacos, Thai chicken bites, and the Captain’s Seafood Platter (with haddock, scallops, clams, and shrimp). 

 

Dining_Middle-Spoon

SOMETHING SWEET

If you’re the sort of person who eats dessert first, go directly to The Middle Spoon on Barrington Street and at Sunnyside Mall in Bedford. Sweet offerings abound; experience the rich creamy goodness of the peanut-butter pie. PS: There’s also a fine selection of cocktails, wines, and Nova Scotian beers.

 

Dining_Old-Triangle

WHEN IRISH EYES ARE SMILIN’

For a classic pub experience, visit The Old Triangle Irish Ale House on Prince Street. This boisterous spot is known for its sidewalk patio, live Celtic music, and menu jam-packed with pub favourites like curry and chips, Irish stew, and pan-fried haddock. The bar boasts local and imported beers and ciders (with mandatory Irish offerings such as Guinness, Harp, and Kilkenny) plus one of the finest selections of whiskies around. 

 

Dining_Rinaldo's
Photo: Caitrin Pilkington

PIZZA PERFECTION

Morris East has expanded with new locations uptown on Quinpool Road and in Bedford West, but you’ll still find the mothership a block from the waterfront on Morris Street. Visit the intimate little dining room for delicious wood-fired pizzas showcasing fresh local ingredients.

Family-run Rinaldo’s on Windsor Street boasts all manner of Italian-American comfort food and the pizza hits the bullseye every time. We recommend the Pizza Samuele with pepperoni, roasted garlic, mozzarella, Grana Padano, and ricotta. 

On the Halifax Waterfront in Bishop’s Landing, Ristorante a Mano is another pizza mecca. If you’re an old-school purist, try the Margherita. This traditional Italian specialty looks deceptively simple with San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil, and nothing else but tons of Old World flavour.

 

Dining_Festival-of-Wines
Photo: NS Tourism

WORLD OF WINE

Running from September 25 to 29, the Festival of Wines is de rigueur for lovers of the grape. Highlights including wine dinners at Chives Canadian Bistro and Cut Steakhouse, an exclusive tasting at Casino Nova Scotia, a gala with Symphony Nova Scotia, and Grand Tastings at the Cunard Centre, featuring some 350 wines from around the world. 

 

Dining_Little-Oak

GOOD THINGS IN SMALL PACKAGES *Editor’s Pick*

Looking for a pleasant nook to while away an evening with friends? Intimate Little Oak on Lower Water Street is just steps away from the waterfront boardwalk. It boasts a small and dynamic menu showcasing global influences and seasonal ingredients, a huge (yet artfully chosen) wine list, and a selection of craft beer and ciders.