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Season’s by Atlantica

Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

KITCHEN ALCHEMYGio-Tea--024---Version-2-resized

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.

SLICE OF LIFEClam-Pie2-resized

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.

GOURMET TO GOThe-Canteen-resized

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.

March Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

Cheese Curds

Cheese Curds

BURGER CELEBRATION

Over 60 restaurants and burger joints across Halifax mark Burger Week from March 19 to 25, with many places offering $5 burgers. Here are some of the highlights.

•With two locations in Halifax (at Gus’ Pub on Agricola Street in the North End and Bearly’s on Barrington Street in the South End), Ace Burger Co. specializes in gourmet burgers and po’boy sandwiches with all the fixings and hand-cut fries.
•Downtown on Argyle Street, Flipburger has over 10 signature burgers plus house-made sauces and fresh-cut fries. Its Blue Cheese and Bacon burger boasts fresh blue cheese, sautéed mushrooms and local double-smoked bacon.
•In Dartmouth, head over to Cheese Curds Gourmet Burgers and Poutinerie on Pleasant Street where Chef Bill Pratt serves up a bevy of burger options, including pork, salmon, lamb, vegetarian and beef dressed any way you like.

Photo: Tammy Fancy

Photo: Tammy Fancy

NEW DIGS

One of Halifax’s busiest Thai restaurants, Talay Thai has a new home on the corner of Hollis and Morris streets in Halifax’s South End. Now fully wheelchair accessible, the new restaurant boasts the same Thai cuisine as ever (try the spicy Pat Chaa Beef to warm up a cold day). Check out the inexpensive lunch menu, featuring many signature dishes.

Photo: Trevor J. Adams

Photo: Trevor J. Adams

EDITOR’S CHOICE

With a creative menu, sweeping views of Halifax Common and free underground parking, Seasons by Atlantica is one of Halifax’s best-kept lunch secrets. Dishes like crispy-fried haddock and curried-chicken flatbread are just the thing to power you through an afternoon of adventures.

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BIGGER PIECE OF THE PIE

Specializing in thin crust, New York Italian-style pizza for over 20 years, Salvatore’s Pizzaiolo has doubled its seating capacity (and expanded its kitchen space) thanks to a recent renovation. The landmark pizzeria in the Hydrostone Market of Halifax’s North End now seats 35 people, retaining its signature Italian-style stucco walls and décor but with a chic new bar area. The restaurant has also expanded its drinks menu, offering more wine options as well as local brews on tap, including beers by Big Spruce and Boxing Rock.

Old Triangle

Old Triangle

TOAST THE GOOD TIMES

Your Father’s Moustache on Spring Garden Road has an extensive menu with tasty items like ribs, club sandwiches and nachos, plus three signature beers created by RockBottom brew master Greg Nash.
•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 spot for meeting friends, the Old Triangle has a classic pub menu and serves weekend brunch.
•Get a taste of Irish comfort at Durty Nelly’s on the corner of Argyle and Sackville streets. Hear a local band and enjoy a pint of your favourite brew while digging into traditional Irish dishes like corned beef and cabbage.

March Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

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VEGGIE SOCIAL

A leader in Halifax’s emerging vegan scene, Wild Leek on Windsor Street specializes in made-from-scratch vegan comfort food. Chef Kirsten Taggart brings her extensive background working in many of Canada’s top restaurants to her menu at Wild Leek, boasting an array of classic options and daily specials (many items are gluten, dairy and nut-free), such as mac’n cheese, seitan sandwich, and the popular coconut bacon “CBLT.” Wash it down with a fresh-squeezed juice or smoothie and be sure to save room for one of Taggart’s famous gourmet cupcakes.

Chef Luis Clavel. Photo: Riley Smith

Chef Luis Clavel. Photo: Riley Smith

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Check out the latest creations from award-winning Chef Luis Clavel at Season’s by Atlantica on Robie Street, overlooking the Halifax Common. Specializing in modern, eclectic Canadian food, Clavel dishes up the classics with a twist and loves featuring fresh local ingredients. The restaurant has been undergoing a major renovation this winter and is due to open early this month, unveiling a chic new layout and décor.

Sawadee Tea House

Sawadee Tea House

COZY VIBE

•With over 375 varieties of premium and loose tea on offer, Sawadee Tea House on Granville Street has a flavour to match every taste. Originally from Thailand, proprietress Mie Mie Sein loves sharing with customers her extensive knowledge of tea and her background as an herbalist and Ayurvedic apprentice. Check out the exotic wares, furniture and unique décor in the on-site shop.

•Savour a pint of good brew at Rogue’s Roost, a second-level microbrewery tucked away uptown on Spring Garden Road. Brewmaster Lorenzo Romano makes some of the finest brews in Halifax, including a variety of ales and the popular Russian Imperial Stout. The menu offers classic pub fare with nachos, sandwiches and seafood chowder.

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NACHOS AND RHYTHM

The Economy Shoe Shop on Argyle Street is the perfect go-to spot for nacho lovers. But this popular hang out for locals has lots more to explore. The walls showcase eclectic local artwork (the owner is a local set designer) and jazz music abounds every Monday night, perfect for jazz aficionados wanting to check out the scene in Halifax.

Duck

STORY TIME

Specializing in innovative food and wine, Stories at The Halliburton on Morris Street is an intimate, multi-level setting to savour some of Halifax’s best regional cuisine. Chef Scott Vail’s menu changes with the seasons to showcase flavourful local ingredients and fresh East Coast seafood, as well as several innovative game options, including duck, boar and venison.