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Feb 26, 2005 07:08 PM

O'Carroll's - Halifax, N.S.

  • g

Dined at O'Carroll's Tuesday night with a friend. First time I had been there in many years. After legendary owner Jim O'Carroll sold out to move to Ireland a few years ago, it was taken over by the Landmark Group. I understand it recently has had or is in the middle of another ownership switch.

Our server was Becky who has been there forever and makes you feel completely at home. She brought tasty warm, fresh rolls and a wine list that was a bit thin, unfortunately. The wine dept definitely needs some work and a better selection. We had a Sterling Merlot they were featuring which was fine but wouldn't have been our first choice.

Appetizers were great: mussels for my friend, a huge portion, and the evening's special for me, sesame-encrusted scallops in a mild ginger sauce. These were outstanding, cooked to perfection, fresh, moist and flavorful.

Main courses were both halibut: the menu slection for my friend, a grilled style, and the chef's special for me, a huge portion of poached halibut served with scallops in a light sauce and at least a half-dozen different veggies. It was beautiful to look at and tasted just as good. I was impressed. The old O'Carrolls I remembered wasn't known for cooking like this, instead being much more traditional. Their current chef seems very good.

We passed on dessert and were preparing to leave when the only downer of the evening occurred: a mouse scurried across the room! I know that these are a problem with restaurants everywhere and especially one like this near the waterfront but it could have ruined a nice evening for some. They need to hire a cat.

Mouse aside (I assume it will be dealt with), recommended. Prices were $8-12 for appetizers, $20-30 for mains.

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  1. Apart from "Mickey's" dash across the dining room sounds like a nice evening.

    When I think of Hlfx O'Carroll's always springs to mind because it seems to have been there forever.

    Know what you mean when you comment that "traditional" and O'Carroll's seem to be synonymous. The last time we were there was years ago when Hlfx. and Nova Scotia in general were going through quite the record setting heat wave [at one point they closed Point Pleasant Park because of the fire danger]. I had the lamb which was great but way too rich especially with all the veggies literally "swimming" in butter for that summer heat.

    At least a couple of chefs out here in Edmonton worked there in years gone by.

    Thanks for the review. Maybe we'll try it the next time we are back in Hlfx. Our current favourites are Chives, FID, da Maurizio, Il Mercado and Bish.