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Robie Street Station

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.

May Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

BEST IN BEAN

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•A favourite place for downtown coffee aficionados, The Trident on Hollis Street roasts its beans on-site, offering an array of hot drinks, loose tea and pastries. After you recharge, browse the eclectic mix of used books.

•Veteran coffeehouse Java Blend on North Street has been in the bean business since 1938 and roasts all of its coffee on-site. Unique coffee memorabilia and an old (but still working) coffee roaster add to the cozy, laid-back feel of the café.

•In Dartmouth, Two if by Sea Café is the go-to spot for coffee fiends, offering not just fabulous coffee but also indulgent fresh-baked croissants that can stand in for a meal. The café has a second location on the Halifax side in the Historic Properties near the Halifax Transit ferry terminal.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Bistro-le-Coq-web

Offering French-inspired cuisine, Bistro le Coq on Argyle Street has the atmosphere of a Parisian bistro, with an ornate tin ceiling, elegant artwork and plush booths. Service en français is always available. Choose from tasty French classics like steak frites and glazed duck. There’s an extensive list of wines, with many served by the glass (including champagne). For dessert, try the layered Nutella crêpe cake.

SAVOUR SPRING

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The brainchild of award-winning Chef Renée Lavallée, The Canteen on Ochterloney Street in Dartmouth serves up flavourful sandwiches, salads and take-out dinners. Lavallée changes the menu daily to highlight fresh local ingredients. Breadmaster Jessica Best bakes all the bread on-site, including tasty gluten-free options.

SPLASH OF LIFE

Photo: Janice Hudson

Photo: Janice Hudson

A newcomer on Halifax’s vibrant diner scene, Robie Street Station has become the it-spot in Central Halifax for all-day breakfast and comfort food with a global twist. Colourful murals and local artwork decorate the charming eatery, located near the Halifax Common on Robie Street. Hit up Robie Street Express next door for a coffee and fresh baked-goods to go.

IN VINO VERITAS

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A stylish yet intimate space, Obladee on Barrington Street offers a range of stellar, hand-chosen wines, including special local vintages. Try the monthly cellar wine special: staff uncork top red and white vintages for customers to enjoy by the glass. Pair your choice with charcuterie from the local artisanal producers.

January/February Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

Cut Steakhouse

Cut Steakhouse

CLASSIC CUISINE
•Dry-aged Alberta AAA steaks cut and weighed tableside are the specialty at Ryan Duffy’s, a stylish steakhouse on Bedford Row. The menu also includes fresh local seafood like oysters, lobster and halibut.
•At Cut Steakhouse on Salter Street, pick your dry-aged premium steak from the rolling trolley of cuts. Match your choice with delicious sides including tempura onion rings or lobster risotto.

Halliburton_dining_Room-web

STORY TIME
At Stories, the intimate restaurant located at the Halliburton Hotel on Morris Street, Chef Scott Vail’s inspired menu changes with the seasons. His specialties include a range of flavourful dishes featuring local game, lamb and seafood.

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THE SWEETEST THING
Located in the West End on Quinpool Road, Sweet Hereafter is the spot for enjoying decadent desserts in an elegant setting. Savour artisan cheesecake by the slice, locally roasted organic fair-trade coffee and gluten-free and vegan options.

Rockbottom Brewpub

Rockbottom Brewpub

PINT PERFECTION
•Downtown on Grafton Street, The Maxwell’s Plum has the widest selection of local and craft beer in the city. Choose from 60 brews on tap, including beers from top East Coast craft brewers like Cape Breton’s Big Spruce Brewing.
•Visit the Red Stag Tavern for a pint at Halifax’s historic Brewery Market on Lower Water Street, plus tasty eats like pale-ale battered fish and chips.
•Uptown on Spring Garden Road, Rockbottom Brewpub crafts award-winning small-batch brews on site. The menu includes its Fathom IPA, Jacktar Stout and seasonal selections like the Ultimate White IPA.

Photo: Janice Hudson

Photo: Janice Hudson

EDITOR’S CHOICE
New on Halifax’s vibrant diner scene, Robie Street Station is a bright and colourful eatery near the Halifax Common on Robie Street serving all-day breakfast and global-inspired comfort food (try the hearty Banh mi sandwich, which comes with hand- cut fries). For your next coffee fix, hit up the Robie Street Express next door for a bevy of hot beverages and baked goods to go.

Photo: Kelly Neil

Photo: Kelly Neil

COZY COMFORT FOOD
Chef Andrew Farrell of 2 Doors Down is making waves in Nova Scotia’s dining scene, creating soulful recipes like deep-fried mac and cheese and traditional potpie using fresh local ingredients. Find them in the heart of the downtown on Barrington Street.