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Savour Food & Wine Festival

Hot Dining

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WONDERFUL WHISKY

If you’re a whisky aficionado, March 1 to 3 is the time to be in Halifax, as the city hosts the NSLC Festival of WhiskyAttendees will experience some of the world’s finest whiskies at the Grand Tasting, featuring some 170 selections. Highlights also include the Single Malt Whisky Dinner at Chives Canadian Bistro, while Casino Nova Scotia hosts an exploration of Scottish distilleries and a Single Malt Scotch Master Class.

 

Dining_Durty-Nellys

LUCK OF THE IRISH

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Halifax? Locals love these spots for jolly all-day celebrations.

—On March 17, the line will start forming at sun-up outside The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse on Prince Street. Enjoy traditional music throughout the day, a pint of ale from the old sod, and Irish cuisine like lamb stew.

—A local favourite for a tipple with friends, Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub on Argyle Street boasts an array of popular pub grub, including Emerald Isle favourites like bangers and mash, fish and chips, and chicken curry. Wash it down with a local ale, or an imported Irish brew.

—Across the harbour in Dartmouth, Jamieson’s Irish Pub on Cumberland Drive is a must for local-beer explorers, with 16 taps showcasing Nova Scotia’s best. The bar boasts a broad selection of premium whisky and rum.

 

Dining_Craft-Beer-Cottage-Party

NOVA SCOTIA’S BEST

Continuing through March 15, the Savour Food & Wine Festival features a series of special events celebrating the province’s culinary offerings. Highlights include Dine Around (special prix fixe menus at participating restaurants, showcasing local flavours) and the Craft Beer Cottage Party on March 3—a beer festival showcasing dozens of local brewers.

 

Dining_da-Maurizio

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 fresh pasta, Atlantic lobster, duck, lamb, and more. An expertly curated wine list and top-notch service complement the experience.

 

Dining_Morris-East

PIZZA PERFECTION

—Intimate Morris East, just steps from the waterfront on Morris Street, pairs wood-fired gourmet pizza with local beer and wine. Not venturing downtown? Visit the newer location on Nine Mile Drive in Bedford West.

—New York-Italian cuisine rules at Salvatore’s Pizzaiolo Trattoria on Young Street in the historic Hydrostone Market. If you’re not in the mood for the signature pie, the hearty meatball hero is one of Halifax’s most popular sandwiches.

—Just steps from the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market on Marginal Road, Tomavinos boasts an assortment of popular Italian pizza and pasta creations.

—If you love pizza, you won’t want to miss Ristorante a Mano on Lower Water Street. The Pancetta, Poplpette e Funghi (crispy pancetta, house-made meatballs, wild mushrooms, fresh mozzarella) is a local favourite.

—Recently selected by the editors as one of Where Canada’s 10 Best New Restaurants, Rinaldo’s on Windsor Street has quickly become a neighbourhood favourite, with creative pizzas, mighty sandwiches, and weekend brunch.

 

Dining_Mexico-Lindo

FIERY FLAVOURS *Editor’s Pick*

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.

 

The Winter Feast

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Photo: Kelly Neil

The annual Savour celebration of Nova Scotian cuisine is a favourite with visitors and locals alike

By: Trevor J. Adams

 

Back for it’s 15th year, the Savour Food & Wine Festival is the year’s biggest celebration of Nova Scotia’s culinary scene. The festival brings together talented mixologists, innovative brewers, award-winning winemakers, and chefs aplenty, sharing their creations at several events.

“The Savour Food & Wine Festival has grown from a small show to a series of exciting events that captures the essence of the food and beverage culture in Nova Scotia,” says Gordon Stewart, executive director of the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia, which organizes the event.

The festival starts with Dine Around (January 15 to March 15), a unique program that invites restaurants around Nova Scotia to showcase local products, with offerings ranging in price from $25 to $45. Dishes will be a mix of three course prix-fixe menus, plus small plates. At press time, participating Halifax restaurants include Gio, Durty Nelly’s, and The Stubborn Goat.

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On February 1, the Lord Nelson Hotel on South Park Street hosts the city’s definitive event for cocktail lovers: Imbibe. Nova Scotia’s top mixologists come together for one night to create 30+ sample-size cocktails, many showcasing local spirits and ingredients. Some 25 restaurants and bars are slated to take part.

Up next on February 8 at the Prince George Hotel on Market Street is Decadence, a unique tasting event pairing wines with delectable savoury dishes and luscious desserts. Discover how wine pairings enhance both the sweet and savoury creations crafted by Nova Scotian Community College (NSCC) Culinary Arts students. All dishes are designed and prepared by students of the Pastry Arts and Culinary Arts programs, under the direction of their chef-instructors.

The Rare & Fine Wine show at Casino Nova Scotia on Upper Water Street on February 16 is a must for serious wine aficionados. Sample top-scoring wines from Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Napa Valley, Piedmonte, Veneto, and Tuscany, amongst others. Relax to live jazz as you sample from our selection of 40+ wines, rated 90+ points by major wine publications—all available in Nova Scotia for the first time. Throughout the night, Bishop’s Cellar staff will be on hand to sell any wines you want to take home.

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Be among the first to visit the new Halifax Convention Centre on Argyle Street as it hosts the eponymous Savour Food & Wine Show on February 22. It showcases 100+ Nova Scotian restaurants and wine and beverage producers. Take in the evening and let your taste buds run wild as you explore samples of delectable foods, cocktails, and wine presented by Nova Scotia’s finest.

Capping the festival is the Craft Beer Cottage party on March 3 at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market on Marginal Road. Sample beers from local and nearby craft breweries while you play summer games like washer toss, or chill in an Adirondack chair and enjoy the live music. There will be picnic tables and delicious beer-friendly food available for purchase. Ticket price includes unlimited beer samples.

Culinary adventures

By Trevor J. Adams

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Restaurants, wineries, breweries and food producers from around the province share their best at the Savour Food & Wine Show on March 5. Photo: Tammy Fancy

The Savour Food & Wine Festival returns, celebrating the best of Nova Scotia’s dining scene.

Each year, the Savour Food & Wine Festival gets a little bigger and better.

Originally conceived as a February event to get diners and restaurants through the mid-winter doldrums, the festival now runs from January 29 to March 5, featuring several signature events and kicking off a yearlong promotion of Nova Scotia’s unique culinary offerings.

“We want to spread the show out further and fill up those slow winter months with events for diners,” says Gordon Stewart, executive director of the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia, which organizes the festival. “We’re doing a few more things each year.”

The festivities begin on January 29 with the Decadence: Chocolate, Wine & Cheese show at Casino Nova Scotia on Upper Water Street. At the event, culinary students from Nova Scotia Community College’s Pastry Arts Program create chocolate dishes to pair with artfully chosen wines.

Back at the Casino on February 12, Imbibe: A Cocktail Event offers just what the name promises. Nova Scotia’s top mixologists and bartenders take over the Schooner Showroom at Casino Nova Scotia for an evening of creative cocktails made with premium liquor, paired with hors d’oeuvres and live music.

Following that on February 27 is the Rare & Fine Wine Tasting. This tasting, in the Compass Room at Casino Nova Scotia, is de rigueur for serious wine aficionados. “Every wine you’ll taste really is rare and fine,” says Stewart. “They’re all wines that have scored 90-plus points in reviews and they aren’t normally available locally.” A live jazz performance sets the tone for this intimate event.

The festival wraps up on March 5 with its signature Savour Food & Wine Show at the World Trade & Convention Centre on Argyle Street. With some 75 booths, the show spotlights Nova Scotian restaurants, brewers, wine makers and food producers. “It’s show-and-tell time for Nova Scotia’s culinary scene,” says Stewart. “Foodies love the show because they get to learn something new, and the exhibitors love it because it’s a chance to meet their customers and do something new.”

Photo: Tammy Fancy

Photo: Tammy Fancy

Geir Simensen, Head Chef with Saege Bistro and Scanway Catering, is a long-time booster of the event. “I’ve been part of Savour right from the beginning,” he says. “The people that go are the people who go out to dine, they’re our customers, our guests. At a restaurant, it can be hard to work the room. At Savour, you get to talk with everyone face to face. It’s fun for everyone involved.” He also appreciates the chance to connect with his fellow chefs. “It’s good to see other chefs on that level,” he adds. “I enjoy the camaraderie.”

His 2015 Savour menu isn’t set yet, but Simensen is giving it lots of thought. “It depends on the weather, what’s growing, what’s available,” he says. “All of our ingredients are local, so there are a lot more variables. I’m thinking maybe something braised, something with beer. I’ll talk with my farmer and my butcher when the date gets closer.”

Photo: Tammy Fancy

Photo: Tammy Fancy

Running concurrently throughout the festival, the Dine Around program offers a great chance to explore, as restaurants around the province offer special three-course prix fixe menus (for $25, $35 or $45). “Lots of restaurants have signed up for that,” Stewart says. “It’s a great chance for diners to be adventurous, which is what Savour is all about.”

For more details, surf to www.edining.ca.