Chef Bill Georgakopoulos of Rae & Jerry’s. Photo by Ian McCausland.
At Rae & Jerry’s, the philosophy has always been “more is more.” With 330 seats in the dining room and lounge, the behemoth steakhouse serves up 200-300 pounds of beef daily, all butchered by chef Bill Georgakopoulos. The restaurant has been a perennial pick for stately steak dinners since 1957, famous for its generously loaded sandwiches, prime cuts of cow, and iconic red décor. This bastion of old school eating has proved the value of finding what works and sticking to it. 1405 Portage Ave, 204‑788‑6155, raeandjerrys.com
Chef Norm Pastorin of The Cornerstone. Photo by Ian McCausland.
At The Cornerstone, a pillar of bustling Osborne Village, the cozy neighbourhood setting acts as backdrop to consistently high calibre cooking. Chef Norm Pastorin is the mastermind at work in the open kitchen, blending flavour profiles and techniques that span the globe to create adventurous yet comforting fare. Drawing on his childhood experiences at pot lucks with his large Filipino family, as well as time spent in France and classical culinary training, chef Norm has found the perfect balance of fusion and familiar. Everyone from Village regulars to after-hours chefs can be found in this dining room, making memories with a glass of wine and a soulful plate of food. 93 Osborne St, thecornerstonewpg.ca
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Photo courtesy Lovey’s BBQ
In a city with as much Francophone influence as Winnipeg, it’s not hard to find that glorious mixture of french fries, gravy, and melty cheese curds. These spots branch out from the classic with irresistable toppings and tasty twists.
Photo courtesy of Blind Tiger Coffee Co.
Craft cocktails are trending, with creative concoctions popping up all over the city. New spot The Roost Social House has landed on the Corydon strip, shaking up a menu of handcrafted libations that use tastes of the season such as cranberries, figs, and cloves, and are complemented by a changing menu of boldly flavoured small plates. 651 Corydon Ave, 204‑414‑9313, theroostwpg.com
A new Prohibition Era-inspired speakeasy adds to this cocktail culture. The Blind Tiger Coffee Co serves java by day, but a secret door leads to the sultry night time dining room. French classics like mussels, charcuterie, and escargot call to the old days of Paris with some modern updates (pork belly, anyone?) 725 Osborne St, blindtigerwinnipeg.ca
By Janice Hudson
• Catch some rays on the rooftop patio at Your Father’s Moustache on Spring Garden Road. The fun and lively space has beer aplenty on tap, including three signature brews from the RockBottom Brewpub downstairs.
• Downtown, head to The Maxwell’s Plum on Grafton Street for a cold pint on the sunny patio. The landmark bar has the city’s largest selection of draft beer, including top selections from Maritime craft breweries like Halifax’s Garrison Brewing and Cape Breton’s Big Spruce.
• For fabulous views of Halifax harbour, check out Gahan House in the Historic Properties. This popular Prince Edward Island brewpub recently opened its first Nova Scotia location, serving its own line of handcrafted beers. Try the Beach Chair lager for a refreshing summer sip.
Two downtown restaurants have once again earned the prestigious CAA/AAA Four Diamond Award.
Recognized for the eighth year in a row, Onyx on Argyle Street is a sleek resto bar showcasing local ingredients in delicious globally inspired recipes. Cut Steakhouse on Lower Water Street has received the award every
year since opening in 2008. The menu boasts premium beef (dry-aged and butchered on-site) with
an artful wine list and inventive sides.
• A leader in Halifax’s emerging vegan scene, Envie touts a menu of hearty meals like vegan ribs, grilled cheese and indulgent raw desserts. Catering to dietary restrictions, the menu is 90 per cent gluten free. Find the stylish restaurant on the corner of Agricola and Charles streets in the North End.
• In the West End on Windsor Street, Wild Leek has made-from-scratch vegan comfort food. Chef Kirsten Haggart whips up recipes like mac’n cheese, seitan sandwich, and the popular coconutbacon “CBLT.” Wash it down with a fresh-squeezed juice and save room for gourmet cupcake.
Downtown at Gio on
Market Street, Chef Bee Choo
Char gives traditional recipes
an inventive new twist. Her
delicious version of poutine
includes fried polenta fingers
topped with duck confit, red
wine jus and blue “Cheez
Whiz.” Open for lunch and
dinner, Gio has a sommelierchosen
wine list plus creative cocktails and martinis.
SLICE OF SUCCESS
Specializing in wood-fired pizza, Morris East won bronze in the non-traditional category at the recent International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. Its Nova Scotia-inspired winning pie featured pears poached in Blomidon Estate Baco Noir and prosciutto from Halifax’s Ratinaud Charcuterie. Visit in downtown Halifax on Morris Street and in Bedford on Larry Uteck Boulevard.
For Chef Adam Donnelly, owner of Segovia Tapas Bar and Restaurant a popular Spanish-style spot, less is more. Diners and critics share an insatiable appetite for his sophisticated plates and appreciation of the restaurant’s trendy-yet-comfy industrial-chic interior. The wonder of Donnelly’s food lies in its artful composition. Many dishes are made with as few as four ingredients. Try Mascarpone- and pistachio-stuffed Medjool dates drizzled with maple syrup that tease with textures and a salty-sweet hook. Be advised this spot has a strict no reservations policy, so pop in early to get your name on the list. In the meantime prep for your experience with a frosty beverage at a nearby watering hole.
Halifax Seafood Restaurants: McKelvie’s on Bedford Row in Halifax (Photo: Nova Scotia Tourism Agency)
Situated next to the world-famous Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, Sou’westeron Peggy’s Cove Road offers some of the best local seafood, including chowder, fish and chips and lobster.
• Sou’Wester, 178 Peggy’s Point Rd., Peggy’s Cove, 902-823-2561, peggys-cove.com
• Map and reviews
A delicious pasta dish from Cafe Chianti
Café Chianti on Barrington Street serves up a hearty menu of Northern Italian fare with fresh seafood, lamb and duck dishes. Their extensive wine cellar includes varietals from Chile, Spain, Argentina, South Australia and, of course, Italy.
Da Maurizio on Lower Water Street, three-time winner of the CAA Four Diamond Award, is known for its impeccable service, wine list and northern Italian menu. Indulge in antipasti such as Scampi Alla Marchese or Muscoli Alla San Remo. And don’t forget the desserts like tiramisu, sorbetti, and trio di brulee.
The Middle Spoon Desserterie & Bar
Halifax’s first desserterie and bar, Middle Spoon on Barrington Street, is the perfect place for those with a sweet tooth. Indulge in fresh desserts like Chocolate Lava Cake, Peanut Butter Pie, New York cheesecake or a create-your-own sundae. The cocktail menu is just as decadent with choices including the Ruthless Ruby, Obsession and Pretty in Pink.
Fans of cheesecake will love Broadway Cheesecake Co. on South Park Street. But these aren’t your traditional flavours. Try tastes like apple caramel, Baklava, cherry crumble, chocolate banana rum and Reese Peanut Butter Cup. Or you can sample the pies or cupcakes. The menu also serves a selection of savoury sandwiches.
Pizza at Piatto. Photo: Paula Bugden
The taste of Napoli makes its way to Halifax at Piatto Pizzeria + Enoteca on Morris Street, the only VPN-certified pizza in the Maritimes. Try a slice of Neopolitan-style pizza, all made with fresh ingredients including San Marzano tomatoes grown in the volcanic soils of Mount Vesuvius, and baked in a wood-burning oven. Pair it with an Italian wine.
Tomavino’s on South Street offers a relaxed, romantic atmosphere and great pizza, too. Pick up a six-inch pizza or a half nine-inch pizza with Caesar salad for lunch. For dinner indulge in the pizza vongole with baby clams, artichoke hearts, fresh roasted garlic, Parmesan and Alfredo sauce. Vegetable lovers can savour the pizza primavera with tomato sauce and three veggies.
For night owls, visit Freeman’s Little New York on Quinpool Road. Open seven days a week until 5 a.m., Freeman’s menu offers New York-style pizza with choices including Manhattan, BBQ chicken, Philly Cheesesteak and Greek.
Jennie Dobbs, owner of Morris East on Morris Street, takes some of the best local artisanal products and transforms them into creative dishes for every palate. Lunch and dinner menus include organic salads, unique appetizers and sandwiches and thin-crust pizzas baked in the wood-burning oven. The menu for Saturday and Sunday brunch offers wood-fired eggs, house-made bagels, and vanilla pear soufflé pancakes.
Nothing beats a good burger! After a lot of taste testing — with a few suggestions from our local Twitter followers — we’ve selected the 5 Best Burgers in Edmonton so you know where to go to grab a bite when hunger strikes:
1. The Next Act Pub (8224-104 St.)
This trendy watering hole features some of the best burgers (and beer!) in the city, each version is made with a housemade patty and loaded with fresh ingredients. Topped with bacon, cheddar, and an over-easy egg, The Class Act burger is a toothsome indulgence — just be sure to have some extra napkins on hand! There’s even a delicious veggie burger option, topped with avocado and pea shoots. Need a burger alternative? The Sweet & Savoury Chicken Sandwich is simply addictive with its mix of goat cheese, rosemary honey honey, and roasted pecans combining for a sensational taste and texture experience. The staple menu options are always complimented by a weekly burger special affectionately referred to as The Cameo: each weekly special is packed with unique ingredients to create taste-bud-exploding combinations. Pop-culture favourites like Popeye, Honey Boo Boo, and James Bond have all made appearances at The Next Act in the form of a delicious burger tribute.
2. Delux Burger Bar (14111-23 Ave. & 9682-142 St.)
Alberta beef from the Spirit View Ranch is used to make all the succulent burgers at this innovative hamburger hot spot. Try one of their nine varieties, or get yours in fry-form with their delicious Hamburger Poutine. Going gluten-free? Ask for one of their freshly made gluten-free buns! Feeling adventurous? Attack their Grilled Cheese Stacker: a 7 oz patty, and delicious toppings, piled between two grilled cheese sandwiches! Or try the monthly specialty burger — their Peanut Butter Burger was such a hit that you can now ask them to add crunchy peanut butter anytime.
- One of the delicious – and intense – burger creations from Delux Burger Bar.
Photo by Troy Griffith
Head to Bridgehead Roastery, which recently opened in Ottawa’s Little Italy neighbourhood, to see the inner workings of this fair trade café.
Over the last decade, Bridgehead has gone from a little-known cafe to a major presence in the city. The fairly traded, organic coffees it serves are delicious, and the food is equally enticing (and healthy, to boot): breakfast offers staples such as steel-cut oatmeal, while sandwiches, soups and salads are available for lunch. The baked goods are hard to turn down; the carrot cake especially is to-die-for. A massive new roastery was recently opened in Little Italy, and it’s worth a visit just to see the inner workings — and try a mug or two at the roastery’s brew bar, of course.
130 Anderson St., 613-233-1221, plus 14 other locations; www.bridgeheadroastery.ca.