Going to Nova Scotia
Any suggestions on places we must to go eat at? I'll be flying into Halifax we have friends who live near Canning, NS. I know they will have some ideas of places but I would also like to take them out one night. thanks. I'm leaving July 15th.
Hey Janine, there are some great places to eat downtown Halifax; what sort of place are you looking for? If you want stylish, good food but at a big city price, you could try Seven on Grafton - www.sevenwinebar.com , or maybe Bish down on Bishops Landing. Let me know what sort of place you are looking for and I'll make some more detailed recommendations.
A word of warning, stay clear of the Hamachi Steakhouse. See my forthcoming review!
I'm looking for great food, possibly something unique to Nova Scotia. I do love fish & seafood. I live in Toronto so there's alot of high end places here so that's not necessarily important, quality food is. I don't want to pay big city prices. ie. $40 for a main course. $30 or under would be preferable. No worries about the steakhouse, we have plenty here that I won't get a craving!
I don't know if they do this or not since I too live in TO but on a recent (ish) trip to the gulf coast there was a place encouraging you to go up to the fishing boats that just came in and see what kinda deal you could make. If you have friends who live in the area they could provide you with locations of said fishing boat docks and a means of cooking said sea foods.
Halifax has some great restaurants for you to sample with your friends.
Of the three Fid is my hands down favourite: they focus on local produce and seasonal dishes and frequently offer a tasting menu that comes paired with wines. I've been probably four times and have been wowed each visit. It is however the most expensive of the three. It's considered high end for Halifax, but depending on what you're used to in Toronto it may not seem that expensive. My recollection is that mains are between $20 and $30 and I think the tasting menu when I was there in May was about $90 a person (three courses). You would want a reservation here but should have no problem getting in with the amount of time you've got.
Il Mercato and Janes are more moderately priced and both have really high quality food. Il Mercato is Italian, Janes is more bistro. Neither take reservations and are usually really busy on weekends - but if you have a weeknight evening or don't mind waiting a bit for a table on the weekend they would be ideal. Janes is also great for brunch on the weekends.
I've been to Seven as mentioned above (only once though). I had a really good meal there, but my partner thought his was kind of uninteresting. They are a known for having a really extensive wine list if you're into that. I found the atmosphere a bit weird, a bit too clubby for my idea of a nice dinner out, but I went just with my partner, if you're going with a group that might be kind of enjoyable.
I don't know much about restaurants in the valley (where Canning is), but if all else fails the farmers markets are just coming into the main season ... perhaps you could get some fish as suggested above and some fresh veggies and have a big ole maritime cookout!
I have been to Fid only once and was somewhat disappointed. Maybe I caught them on a bad day but the dishes brought to our table were just not all that impressive. Yet the opinion of many is that it is the best restaurant in town so I probably need to give them another chance.
I never hesitate to recommend Il Mercato for a casual Italian meal -- it is perhaps my favorite place to eat in Halifax. Jane's, I think, is somewhat overrated. Been there a couple of times with OK food once and forgettable food the other. Plus the permanent crowds and the inevitable wait for a table turns me off. It is certainly popular and trendy though.
I still think the best food in town is to be had at Da Maurizio. I haven't been yet but also hear good things about the new Gio's, in the Prince George Hotel. One of my favorite places for good dependable food is the dining room at O'Carroll's.
In the Canning/Wolfville area there are a number of good places. Tempest in Wolfville gets a lot of attention -- Chef Michael Howell is on tap to do a James Beard dinner later this year in NYC -- but my experience there has been mixed, similar to that at Fid. Perhaps the expectation doesn't match reality. Acton's in Wolfville and Le Caveau at Grand Pre Winery just outside town are also good. If you are into microbrews, Paddys Pub in Wolfville makes their own beer and has a good menu as well, although obviously in a more casual style.
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