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ice cream

4 Favourite Banff Restaurants

By Where Staff

Photo: Elk & Oarsman

Photo: Elk & Oarsman

Spirit of Banff

Park Distillery is arguably the most original new Banff restaurant to open, ever! Joining the exclusive ranks of few such establishments in Canada, vodka and gin (and soon whiskey) are produced in-house. After a free tour of the distillery, sample their spirits straight, in an exotic cocktail or incorporated into the wood-fired cuisine of chef Liz Gagnon’s food menu. While at it, drink in the backcountry alpine hut décor.


August Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

Top of the worldIMG_20150529_200028654_HDR-resized

Perched on the top floor of the new Halifax Central Library on Spring Garden Road, Pavia Espresso Bar & Café has incredible panoramic views of downtown Halifax and the harbour. There’s ample seating in the café or you can take your coffee outside on the terrace and check out the sedums growing on the living roof. Modelled after a European espresso bar, the café features locally roasted coffee, Italian espresso and gourmet paninis, plus fresh-baked treats.

Suds of summer

Photo: Tammy Fancy

Photo: Tammy Fancy

The Henry House on Barrington Street is the go-to-spot for a relaxed night out with friends. Park yourself on the sunny patio and pick from an extensive list of beer, including craft ales from the award-winning Granite Brewery.
•Chill out with a cold brew at Rogue’s Roost, a second-level brewpub tucked away uptown on Spring Garden Road. Pick from a variety of beers made on-site, including a popular Russian imperial stout.
•Downtown on Grafton Street, head to The Maxwell’s Plum for the city’s largest selection of draft beer. The 60 beers on tap include top East Coast brews from Moncton’s Pump House Brewery and Cape Breton’s Big Spruce.

Editor’s choice

Photo: Tammy Fancy

Photo: Tammy Fancy

One of Halifax’s busiest Thai restaurants, Talay Thai is enjoying its new digs on the corner of Hollis and Morris streets in Halifax’s South End. Now wheelchair accessible, the refurbished space boasts the same flavourful Thai cuisine that built the restaurant’s loyal following. The inexpensive lunch menu features many signature dishes like masaman curry and pad thai.

Cold comfort

•The made-local trend hits ice cream at Halifax’s two Humani-T cafés: on Young Street in the North End and uptown on Spring Garden Road. Both make small-batch gelato on-site, including milk-free sorbettos. Flavours change daily but always feature fresh local ingredients.
•Visit Sugah at Bishop’s Landing on Halifax’s Waterfront or in the Halifax Public Gardens for hand-paddled ice cream. Choose a base ice cream flavour and then add in mixings (try the brownA sugar fudge—the candy here is made on-site). And then watch staff paddle it all together on a frozen marble slab.

Photo: Janice Hudson

Photo: Janice Hudson

•The sweet smell of fresh-pressed waffle cones will lure you to Cow’s Ice Cream on the Halifax waterfront in the Historic Properties. Don’t be put off if there’s a line—it’s worth waiting. Choose from over 30 ice cream flavours, many with playful names linking back to the company’s P.E.I.’s roots.

Classic cuisineIMG_0802-resized

A staple of Halifax’s West End dining scene for more than 30 years, Athens Restaurant on Quinpool Road boasts a menu of flavourful Greek specialties like lamb souvlaki, moussaka, spanakopita and calamari. It’s also a popular breakfast spot on the weekends.

Hot Dining: Dessert Roundup

The forecast is for sunny skies and summery weather, so we highlight three sweet treats to satisfy your sweet tooth (and one of them is ice cream!).

Local fave Pascale's All Natural Ice Cream is available at stores and restaurants around Ottawa. Photo credit: Alexandre Mattar.

Pascale’s All Natural Ice Cream
Rich, creamy, and made with fresh ingredients. The unusual gourmet flavours, such as white chocolate pistachio and dark chocolate sea salt, have made it a local favourite. Retails for $10.95-$12 for a half litre. Available at The Piggy Market, 400 Winston Ave., and several other stores and restaurants in Ottawa. www.pascalesicecream.com

Flourless, Decadent Chocolate Cake
Dense, moist, and not overly sweet, just what a flourless chocolate cake should be. $8. Flying Piggy’s, 1665 Bank St., 613-526-4900. www.flyingpiggys.com

Banoffee Pie
A restaurant staple at Allium, this pie boasts a graham crumb crust filled with toffee, bananas, cream, and shaved chocolate. $8. 87 Holland Ave., 613-792-1313. www.alliumrestaurant.com

Quirky and Cute: Coombs, British Columbia

Tucked away on Vancouver Island, north of Nanaimo off the Island Highway is Coombs, a place that’s become known for its signature rooftop of grazing goats. Under that roof is The Old Country Market, a quirky grocery store that offers a huge selection of breads and sweets made in their bakery, a cheese shop and imported foods that run the gamut from English licorice to bacon-flavoured mayonnaise a.k.a. Baconnaise.

Before you head to the Market to shop, have lunch at Cuckoo in Coombs Trattoria & Pizzeria. The Italian restaurant offers pasta and wood-stove pizza in a large space with wooden tables and rustic tablecloths (which you can buy next door in Zolena). If the weather is nice, sit out back on the patio under the plum trees. Just outside the restaurant is the greenery area with large pots and Chinese statues, shrubbery and small cacti. Nestled in amongst the plants is Zolena, a shop with wool blankets from New Zealand, Chinese silk bags and bangles from India. (more…)

Summer Treat

Callebaut's delectable soft serve ice cream

Callebaut's delectable soft serve ice cream

Of all things enjoyed during summer, ice cream tops the list. Soft-serve Belgian white chocolate ice cream at Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut is a luxurious treat for refined tastes. Reader’s Digest rates Cows ice cream “Canada’s best.” We’re fond of ‘Messie Bessie’, a combination of rich chocolate ice cream, Skor bar, English toffee and Oreo cookie.—RM

Ice Cream Divine

Cool off this summer at some of Calgary’s best spots for sweet frozen treats.

This Italian café on Kensington Road is known for its wide selection of homemade gelatos and sorbettos. From coconut mango swirl to cookies and cream, their 72 flavours ran the gamut from typical to unusual. Also on their menu is a selection of frozen yoghurts, non-dairy tofulatis and low-sugar gelatos and sorbettos. Enjoy any of their frozen treats on their sidewalk patio.

Also known as Leavitt’s Ice Cream Shop, this family-run ice cream parlour is designed like a ‘50s soda shop and located just off the Bow River Pathway. Try one of their regular flavours in a homemade waffle cone, or a pick of the month such as raspberry cheesecake or Turtle. Enjoy the store’s player piano while you eat your cone, which staff play upon request. Lic’s also makes ice cream cakes, which can be ordered in advance for special occasions; flavours include mint chocolate chip and chocolate fudge.

A Cochrane landmark, this ice cream parlour is best known for its extra-creamy homemade ice cream. Made from a family recipe and using the highest butterfat cream available, MacKay’s has been in business for over sixty years. Enjoy some of their favourite flavours such as mango or chocolate peanut butter—served all year round—or try a seasonal flavour such as Mini Egg Hunt for Easter and gingerbread at Christmas.

For those who like to design their own dessert, Marble Slab is the place to go. Pick from the different varieties of waffle cones dipped in chocolate and candies, or a waffle bowl. Next choose an ice cream flavour such as birthday cake, key lime or coffee, and select your “mixins.” You can mix two or three ingredients into your ice cream, including fruit or crushed chocolate bars and candies. All your selections are then mixed together on a cold marble slab. If you find the number of decisions too daunting, you can try one of their already designed creations or a milkshake made with plain ice cream.

People may come to My Favorite Ice Cream Shoppe for the wide selection of ice cream flavours, but they stay for the atmosphere. Situated in the neighbourhood of Marda Loop, the shoppe is decorated with a collection of ice cream memorabilia, from black and white photos and vintage signs to old church pews lining the walls. Ice cream flavours remain consistent with old favourites such as brownie meltdown and candyfloss, as well as new varieties such as After Eight. Piano players can also get their ice cream free by playing the shoppe’s instrument for a minimum of 10 minutes.

This Inglewood dessert bar is a spot for the true connoisseur, with a wide selection of cakes and tarts paired with wines and coffees. They also serve their own made-from-scratch ice cream and sorbet, available in their retail shop and served in a homemade cone or take-home carton. Try one of their original ice cream flavours such as blue cheese or Mexican vanilla, or enjoy a fruit sorbet made from guava, blackberry or honey tangerine. —Elena Redd