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Talay Thai

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_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.

August Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

Top of the worldIMG_20150529_200028654_HDR-resized

Perched on the top floor of the new Halifax Central Library on Spring Garden Road, Pavia Espresso Bar & Café has incredible panoramic views of downtown Halifax and the harbour. There’s ample seating in the café or you can take your coffee outside on the terrace and check out the sedums growing on the living roof. Modelled after a European espresso bar, the café features locally roasted coffee, Italian espresso and gourmet paninis, plus fresh-baked treats.

Suds of summer

Photo: Tammy Fancy

Photo: Tammy Fancy

The Henry House on Barrington Street is the go-to-spot for a relaxed night out with friends. Park yourself on the sunny patio and pick from an extensive list of beer, including craft ales from the award-winning Granite Brewery.
•Chill out with a cold brew at Rogue’s Roost, a second-level brewpub tucked away uptown on Spring Garden Road. Pick from a variety of beers made on-site, including a popular Russian imperial stout.
•Downtown on Grafton Street, head to The Maxwell’s Plum for the city’s largest selection of draft beer. The 60 beers on tap include top East Coast brews from Moncton’s Pump House Brewery and Cape Breton’s Big Spruce.

Editor’s choice

Photo: Tammy Fancy

Photo: Tammy Fancy

One of Halifax’s busiest Thai restaurants, Talay Thai is enjoying its new digs on the corner of Hollis and Morris streets in Halifax’s South End. Now wheelchair accessible, the refurbished space boasts the same flavourful Thai cuisine that built the restaurant’s loyal following. The inexpensive lunch menu features many signature dishes like masaman curry and pad thai.

Cold comfort

•The made-local trend hits ice cream at Halifax’s two Humani-T cafés: on Young Street in the North End and uptown on Spring Garden Road. Both make small-batch gelato on-site, including milk-free sorbettos. Flavours change daily but always feature fresh local ingredients.
•Visit Sugah at Bishop’s Landing on Halifax’s Waterfront or in the Halifax Public Gardens for hand-paddled ice cream. Choose a base ice cream flavour and then add in mixings (try the brownA sugar fudge—the candy here is made on-site). And then watch staff paddle it all together on a frozen marble slab.

Photo: Janice Hudson

Photo: Janice Hudson

•The sweet smell of fresh-pressed waffle cones will lure you to Cow’s Ice Cream on the Halifax waterfront in the Historic Properties. Don’t be put off if there’s a line—it’s worth waiting. Choose from over 30 ice cream flavours, many with playful names linking back to the company’s P.E.I.’s roots.

Classic cuisineIMG_0802-resized

A staple of Halifax’s West End dining scene for more than 30 years, Athens Restaurant on Quinpool Road boasts a menu of flavourful Greek specialties like lamb souvlaki, moussaka, spanakopita and calamari. It’s also a popular breakfast spot on the weekends.

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.

Clam-Pie2-web

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.