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Sushi Nami Royale

HOT DINING

Bar Kismet is a new addition to the Halifax scene, but already becoming a favourite.

By Trevor J. Adams.

COCKTAIL HOUR
If you’re serious about your cocktails, you must visit stylish Bar Kismet on Agricola Street. The ever-changing menu features premium ingredients from around the world. At press time, the drink selection included Cinematographers Party (bonded bourbon whiskey, Italian Digestif, fresh yellow plum and lemon, honey, red wine float), 2 Of Americano’s Most Wanted (bottled carbonated cocktail: French and Italian aperitif, red vermouth, French aperitif wine), and Cartoon Graveyard (mezcal, arugula, pineau des charantes, bogarts bitters).

A RESTO WITH A STORY
The Watch That Ends The Night pairs an ambitious name with an ambitious concept. 2016 Gold Medal Plates winner Mark Gray helms the kitchen at the Dartmouth cocktail and wine bar. He focuses on “developing a new Canadian cuisine” through curing and fermenting local seasonal ingredients. It’s named for Hugh MacLennan’s eponymous 1958 novel, sharing an aesthetic with the same North American late-modern tastes.

ASIAN APPETITE
• In a historic building on the corner of Morris and Hollis streets, Talay Thai serves up heaping portions of traditional dishes like Gung Pad Pik Pow (basil prawn with chili paste), Pla Muek Tod Katem (garlic shrimp), and curries aplenty.
• Japanese fine dining, showcasing traditional and fusion dishes, is on offer at Sushi Nami Royale. Check it out at locations on Queen Street in the heart of the downtown, Lacewood Drive in Clayton Park, Hector Gate in Dartmouth Crossing, and the Bedford Highway.
• Don’t let the strip-mall exterior or industrial-park cul-de-sac location deter you: Dhaba Casual Fine Dining & Express on Oland Crescent serves some of the tastiest Indian food around. The volcanic chicken vindaloo is a Halifax favourite.

STEAK EXPECTIONS
For an opulent and unforgettable dining experience, Cut Steakhouse is the downtown’s go-to destination. Contemporary and classy, Cut emphasizes world-class service, with beef dry-aged on site. By Robert Risley, the restaurateur behind popular Halifax spots like Bistro Le Coq, East of Grafton Tavern, and Waterfront Warehouse.

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 veal scaloppine sautéed with fresh lobster, seared breast of Brome Lake duck, and spicecrusted rack of lamb. An expertly curated wine list and top-notch service complement the experience.

SMALL PLATES, BIG TASTES
Foodies flock to Highwayman Restaurant & Bar on Barrington Street for Spanish-inspired share plates and original cocktails. This cozy, up-market option serves a menu of seafood, cured meats, cheeses, and more. Pair your meal with a selection from the carefully-curated wine list and save room for a decadent dessert.

EDITOR’S PICK: FLAVOUR FIESTA
Don’t let the humble exterior fool you: loyal foodies jam Mexico Lindo on Dutch Village Road every night. Fiery home-style Mexican cuisine is the house specialty. The menu includes explosively flavourful offerings like burritos, enchiladas, chimichangas, tacos, and more.

 

Hot Dining

Dining_Shore-Club
Photo: Tourism Nova Scotia

A SHORE THING

The Shore Club Lobster Supper in Hubbards is an essential Nova Scotian experience. Enjoy a huge feed of fresh Atlantic lobster in the rollicking and informal setting of the Shore Club, one of the province’s last old-fashioned dance halls. The menu also includes all-you-can-eat mussels, with vegetarian, steak, chicken, and kids’ meals.

 

Dining_Stubborn-Goat-Beer-Garden

CHEERS!

• Take a break from the bustle of Spring Garden Road in the subterranean refuge of the Rockbottom Brewpub. The menu offers all the pub grub you’d expect, but the house-made craft-beer is the real draw. Locals love the zesty IPA and malty Irish red; keep an eye out for the brewer’s latest seasonal creations. But why play favourites? A sampler tray is a tasty way to experience all the newest brews.

The Stubborn Goat Beer Garden on the Halifax waterfront is the ideal place to while away a sunny afternoon watching the ships go by. Alongside a rotating selection of local craft beer, you’ll find tasty noshes from the operators of the Stubborn Goat, one of the downtown’s most popular gastropubs—tacos, nachos, fish and chips, burgers, salads, croquettes, and more.

 

Dining_Primal-Kitchen-Credit-Trevor-J.-Adams
Photo: Trevor J. Adams

INDULGE YOUR INSTINCTS

Picked as one of Where Canada’s Best New Restaurants in Canada (2015), Primal Kitchen on Brenton Street is a butchery-inspired gem. Sustainable local meats (smoked, cured, and butchered in-house) are the specialty, paired with a creative selection of local wine and beer.

 

Dining_Sushi-Nami
Photo: Trevor J. Adams

ASIAN APPETITE

With locations around the city, Sushi Nami Royale is your go-to spot for Japanese FIne dining, offering traditional and fusion sushi, paired with creative cocktails. Find it downtown on Dresden Row, just steps from bustling Spring Garden Road.

 

Dining_Vines-Pasta-Grill

PASTA PERFECTION

The Vines Pasta Grill on Panavista Drive in Dartmouth is a neighbourhood favourite. You’ll find all the Italian favourites you’d expect—seafood linguine, veal marsala, penne arrabiata, gnocchi, and pizza—plus a much-loved Sunday brunch buffet.

 

Dining_Sou'Wester
Photo: Tammy Fancy

ON THE ROCKS *Editor’s Pick*

For five decades, The Sou’wester has been serving up fresh seafood and Maritime hospitality alongside the wild North Atlantic in Peggy’s Cove. With a spectacular view of the ocean and the village’s iconic lighthouse, this is an ideal spot to try can’t-miss dishes like fish and chips, boiled lobster, and scratch-made gingerbread.

 

Dining_Cora

START STRONG

• Get your day off to a good start with a visit to one of the five Cora locations around Halifax. Specializing in breakfast, this popular Quebec chain offers hearty, creative breakfast, paired with heaping helpings of fresh fruit.

• Bagel Montreal Style on Dartmouth’s Wyse Road offers exactly what the name says: traditional Montreal-style bagels in a variety of flavours, hand-rolled and baked in a wood-burning oven. Try a traditional poppy seed, a sweet treat like banana chocolate, or a savoury selection with rosemary, sea salt, and olive oil.

Opening at 7am, Annie’s Place Café on Queen Street is a Halifax favourite for hearty home-style breakfasts, with daily specials and baked goods aplenty.

Hot Dining

Dining_Your-Fathers-Moustache

ABOVE IT ALL

Take a lofty perch above the bustle of Spring Garden Road to enjoy the rooftop patio at Your Father’s Moustache. This perennial summer favourite is the ideal place to laze away a sunny afternoon with a cold beverage, including four house-brewed beers. There are daily lunch specials and the weekend brunch menu (with offerings like skillets, french toast, pancakes, and more) is always popular.

 

Dining_Athens-Restaurant

LOCALS LOVE IT

Athens Restaurant on Quinpool Road offers the Greek mainstays you’d expect, but Haligonians love it for weekend brunch: omelettes, eggs Florentine, and a buffet chock full of breakfast favourites like sausage, baked beans, pancakes, perogies, pastries, and more. Get there early to beat the crowds.

 

Dining_Shore-Club-Lobster-Suppers

Photo: Tourism Nova Scotia

A SHORE THING

The Shore Club Lobster Suppers in Hubbards are a must for Nova Scotian visitors. Enjoy a huge feed of fresh Atlantic lobster in the rollicking and informal setting of a community supper at one of the province’s last old-fashioned dance halls (live music on Saturday nights in season). The menu includes all-you-can-eat mussels, and vegetarian, steak, chicken, and kids’ meals. 

 

Dining_Cut-Steakhouse

DIAMOND DELIGHTS

Two Halifax restaurants recently claimed the coveted AAA/CAA Four Diamond Award. For the tenth straight year, Cut Steakhouse on Salter Street was feted. “It is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and meticulous attention to detail over the past decade by our entire team,” says general manager and sommelier Melissa Carey in a press release. The other Halifax award went to Gio on Market Street. This stylish spot is noted for a globally-influenced menu, creative cocktails, and exquisite service.

 

Dining_Primal-Kitchen

Photo: Trevor J. Adams

STEAK OUT

As the name suggests, Primal Kitchen on Brenton Street is a carnivore’s haven, boasting local meats smoked, cured, and butchered in-house. Guaranteed date-night all-star: the 35-ounce bone-in prime rib for two paired with truffle fries.

 

Dining_Dhaba

ASIAN APPETITE

In a historic building on the corner of Morris and Hollis streets, Talay Thai serves up heaping portions of traditional dishes like creations like Gung Pad Pik Pow (basil prawn with chili paste), Pla Muek Tod Katem (garlic shrimp), and curries aplenty. 

—Japanese fine dining, showcasing traditional and fusion dishes, is on offer at Sushi Nami Royale. Check it out at locations on Queen Street in the heart of the downtown, Lacewood Drive in Clayton Park, Hector Gate in Dartmouth Crossing, and the Bedford Highway. 

—Don’t let the strip-mall exterior or industrial-park cul-de-sac location deter you: Dhaba Casual Fine Dining & Express on Oland Crescent serves some of the tastiest Indian food around. The butter chicken is a reliable choice.

 

Dining_Sugah

Photo: Tammy Fancy

CHILL OUT

When exploring city streets, beat the heat with a tasty treat. At Sugah on the waterfront boardwalk in Bishop’s Landing, you’ll find all manner of confections, but the star of the show is the house-made hand-paddled ice cream, showcasing unique Nova Scotian ingredients.

 

Dining_Primal-Kitchen

Photo: Bruce Murray/VisionFire Studios

POUR A PINT *Editor’s Pick*

Continuing through May 6, Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week offers a great chance to discover the best of the province’s fast-growing brewing scene. This month’s highlights include a nano-brewery tap takeover at Good Robot Brewing on May 3, as the popular urban tasting room pours creations from Nova Scotia’s smallest breweries alongside its own creations. Visiting later in the month? Local brews abound at spots like Battery Park beer bar and Jamieson’s Irish-House & Grill in Dartmouth, stylish Stillwell on Barrington Street, and long-time local favourite The Maxwell’s Plum on Grafton Street.