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seafood

Enjoy Fresh Lobster at Ibs.

LOBSTER LOVERS WON’T WANT FOR REASONABLY-PRICED OPTIONS AT LBS.

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Thanks to careful prep by the chef the lobster at lbs. comes out of the shell easily, eliminating the fuss of enjoying the crustacean.

Feast on fresh lobster at lbs(The name, which stands for “Lobster,” “Burger,” and “Salad” is pronounced “pounds”). The short menu has four feature items at only $22 each: the 1.25 lbs. lobster, lobster roll, a burger topped with aged cheddar and bacon, and a lobster salad. Sit back at the large bar and quench your thirst with refreshing cocktails and a rotating selection of non-alcoholic custom sodas. And if you still have room, order the popular lobster poutine made with rich gravy. For crustacean-lovers on the go, the take-out window at the back serves Sam James coffee, as well as lobster rolls and ice cream sandwiches.  —Karen Stevens

Ufficio: Italian-Style Seafood in the West End

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Ufficio’s charming nautical-inspired decor.

WITH A MENU THAT CENTRES AROUND SEAFOOD, UFFICIO IS A FRESH ADDITION TO TORONTO’S ITALIAN DINING SCENE

Torontonians love their Italian restaurants; we each have our favourite spot for Neapolitan pizzas and spaghetti Bolognese. But when it comes to coastal cuisine, we’re somewhat underserved. Enter Ufficio, a highly stylish spot that puts the focus on seafood, with pescatarian dishes ranging from romesco-sauced B.C. Saltspring mussels on a chickpea fritter to grilled octopus with caponata. The intimate restaurant sits on one of Dundas West’s hipper stretches, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself swimming in specialty cocktails, too.—Craig Moy

1214 Dundas St. west, 416-535-8888; ufficiorestaurant.com

Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

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Downtown at Gio on Market Street, Chef Bee Choo Chair gives traditional recipes an inventive new twist. Her 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 curated wine list and a creative mixed drinks menu.

SOUL FOOD

Photo: Timothy Richard

Photo: Timothy Richard

As the weather turns chillier, cozy up in a booth at Stayner’s Wharf Pub and Grill. The menu here has plenty to keep you warm, including steak and chicken dishes, plus local fare like pan-fried haddock and curry-crusted salmon. Most evenings offer live music, too.

SEASONS CHANGE

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There’s a new executive chef in the kitchen at Seasons by Atlantica on Robie Street. Chef Daniel Orovec is passionate about showcasing local ingredients on his new menu, which includes seafood favourites such as bacon-wrapped scallops and seafood linguini with saffron cream. “It’s about supporting local food and letting good ingredients shine on their own,” he says.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Photo: NS Tourism Agency

Photo: NS Tourism Agency

On Lower Water Street, McKelvie’s takes fresh seafood to new creative heights. Try the maple-roasted bacon wrapped scallops or the lobster poutine with hand-cut fries. The crunchy haddock is another top seller, with creamy BBQ sauce and garlic mashed potatoes.

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Specializing in thin crust, New York Italian-style pizza for over 20 years, Salvatore’s Pizzaiolo in The Hydrostone has doubled its seating capacity thanks to a recent renovation. The restaurant kept its signature Italian-style décor and stucco walls, but it now has a sleek bar area serving local brews on tap.

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With chef Renée Lavallée at the helm, The Canteen on Ochterloney Street in Dartmouth serves up a flavourful array of sandwiches, salads, and take-out meals featuring fresh local ingredients. The bread is baked on-site, including gluten-free options.

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Specializing in Chinese cuisine since 1984, Great Wall, located downtown on Bedford Row, boasts robust Cantonese and Szechuan dishes such as Kung Po shrimp and Singapore vermicelli. Owner Patrick Wong also offers tasty Dim Sum on Sundays from 11:30am to 3pm.

October Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

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Held in cities across Canada, the Gold Medal Plates competition showcases top chefs, battling to crown gold, silver and bronze culinary teams. On October 29, eight Nova Scotian chefs will compete in Halifax, including Chef Terry Vassallo of Café Chianti, Chef Bee Choo Char of Gio, and Chef Mark Gray of The Brooklyn Warehouse. Visit www.goldmedalplates.com for tickets.

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At Stories, the intimate restaurant located at The Halliburton hotel on Morris Street, Chef Scott Vail’s inspired menu changes with the seasons. His mainstays include local game, lamb, seafood, and housemade charcuterie.

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A staple of Halifax’s West End dining scene for more than 30 years, Athens Restaurant on Quinpool Road boasts a menu of flavourful classic Greek dishes, including lamb souvlaki, moussaka and calamari. The space seats about 150 people and is a popular breakfast spot on the weekends.

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Baan Thai on Blowers Street has a fresh menu and colourful furnishings from Bangkok. Choose from any number of curries, Pad Thai or a special all-you-can-eat lunch buffet on Fridays. The delicious menu offers spicy noodles, cashew chicken, shrimp cakes and spring rolls, plus much more.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Photo: Kelly Neil

Photo: Kelly Neil

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

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• Downtown on Prince Street, the Old Triangle Irish Alehouse is a large, three-room pub with live entertainment nightly and no cover charge. A great place to relax with friends, the Old Triangle has a classic pub menu and serves weekend brunch.
• Celebrating one year on Halifax’s brewpub scene, Gahan House is a popular destination in the picturesque Historic Properties. Choose from a range of Gahan’s own handcrafted beers on tap, including blueberry ale and Sir John A honey wheat ale.

Enjoy Treats from the Deep at These Toronto Seafood Restaurants

Fresh mollusks and other delicacies are on the menu at John and Sons Oyster House (photo: John and Sons Oyster House)

Fresh mollusks and other delicacies are on the menu at John and Sons Oyster House (photo: John and Sons Oyster House)

Meaty mains still reign supreme in this city, but these recently opened seafood restaurants provide sanctuary for fish-favouring diners.

1  Gussied up Summerhill residents abandon decorum as they slurp the seasonal spread of mollusks from John and Sons Oyster House. But don’t just fill up on raw fare. Dishes like seared diver scallops ($25) and lobster poutine ($19) are also available.

• John and Sons Oyster House, 1 Balmoral Ave., 416-515-0551​ (plus one other location); johnandsonsoysterhouse.com
• Map and reviews

Vancouver-trained chef David Friedman brings a bit of the West Coast to Red Fish—a number of his offerings have a whiff of Asian influence. A seafood-focused brunch satisfies weekend crowds.

• Red Fish, 890 College St., 416-733-3474; redfishresto.com
• Map and reviews

3  Chef Matt Dean Pettit first made his name at Toronto Underground Market events. Now he’s got a hip restaurant, Rock Lobster, at which to shill his popular lobster rolls ($14), jerk crab and shrimp ($13) and more.

• Rock Lobster, 110 Ossington Ave. 416-533-1800 ; rocklobsterfood.com
Map and reviews

3 Can’t-Go-Wrong Halifax Seafood Restaurants

Halifax Seafood Restaurants

Halifax Seafood Restaurants: McKelvie’s on Bedford Row in Halifax (Photo: Nova Scotia Tourism Agency)

SOU’WESTER
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

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Hot Dining: Hoof Raw Bar Offers Hip Fish and Seafood

It’s hard to overstate the effect The Black Hoof has had on meat eating in this city. Since its late-2008 opening, the hipster hot spot specializing in high-end charcuterie and artisan cocktails has spawned numerous imitators. Such has been the formula’s success that its creators decided to replicate it for themselves in the Hoof Raw Bar, which does for seafood what its predecessor did—and continues to do—for meat. You can probably imagine what that means for the menu: heaps of shellfish, shareable offerings like squid salad or raw scallops, and a quartet of cured fish make for great bait; a finely honed list of wines and spirits helps ensure you’ll be well and truly hooked.

Hot Dining in Halifax: Waterfront Feasts

 

Dine on seafood at Waterfront Warehouse

Salty’s on the Waterfront in the Historic Properties is one of the best catches on the Halifax waterfront. You can go classy or casual with menus for the family or a romantic night out. For a quick lunch, take in the casual menu, which has
lobster corn chowder, seafood pasta, Salty’s crab cakes and more. The upstairs menu at Salty’s offers seafood selections such as lobster, scallops, oysters, shrimp and salmon. Indulge in a fine cocktail, too.

The Waterfront Warehouse Restaurant blends fine dining with a great view of the Halifax Harbour, all in a rustic, nautical setting. Try the hard-shelled lobster, seafood chowder, planked Atlantic salmon, delicious bouillabaisse or one of the eight types of oysters from around Atlantic Canada. You can also select a perfect wine to complement your seafood dinner.

Hot Dining: Coasters Gourmet Grill

Coasters’ lobster gilled cheese sandwich

A ByWard Market mainstay, Coasters serves up great food and unbeatable views in a comfortable, casual atmosphere. Seafood is the specialty (fish tacos, all-you-can-eat mussels, fish and chips), but with classics like burgers, pulled pork and lighter fare like salads and wraps on the menu, there’s something for everyone. We recommend the lobster grilled cheese — a deliciously indulgent take on a comfort food classic. Warm decor and a fantastic view of the market below make for a memorable Ottawa experience. Open daily.

ByWard Market. 54 York St., 613-241-4954. www.coasters.ca

The 12 Best Seafood Towns in Canada from Atlantic to Pacific

By SHANNON KELLY

Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia (Photo: Chris Boris)

From Atlantic to Pacific, a dozen of the best places across Canada to tuck into local lobster, oysters, mussels and fresh fish. (more…)

Hot Dining: Cool and Cozy Dinner Spot

The popular $12 fries are served with a "side order" of steak.

If you love ending the day with a glass of wine and a good meal, look no further than Vineyards Wine Bar Bistro in the ByWard Market, which is known for its warm, relaxed atmosphere (as well as its $12 French fries served with a side order of steak). This restaurant carries 70 wines by the glass, 200 types of beer (including hard to find Belgian ones), and 20 wine flights, which come with a tasting sheet and three different wines. Live jazz Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday evenings and a complimentary cheese table Sunday to Thursday from 4pm to 6pm add to the experience. 54 York St. (in the cellar), 613-241-4270.

Hot Dining: Delicious (and Affordable!) Brown Bag Lunch

On the go? Try the "Brown Bag Lunch" from The Whalesbone.

Lunchtime got a whole lot more interesting when The Whalesbone Sustainable Oyster & Fish Supply started doing its take-away “Brown Bag Lunch.” As the retail shop to its fine dining sister restaurant, The Whalesbone Oyster House, this is the place to go for a hearty fish sandwich. There are three types on offer (selection changes by availability), but we love the smoked tuna with capers and tangy sauce. Hot tip: Tuesdays are “Chowdah Chewsdays,” so you can get a free cup of chowder when you buy a large sandwich. Sandwiches start at $8, lunch is offered Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 2pm. 504-A Kent St., 613-231-3474.