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Nova Scotia dining summer 2007

My wife and I will be spending two weeks in southern Nova Scotia and Halifax this summer. We like all good food (needless to say), but would like to find some truly special places in terms of ambiance as well. Any suggestions?

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  1. For ambiance, you really can't beat The Press Gang restaurant on Prince Street.
    www.thepressgang.ca

    2 Replies
    1. re: canuckx

      With respect to the Press Gang, I agree that the restaurant itself is pretty cool, and that it may appeal to a tourist vibe (in a good way), but I have always found the food there quite marginal, especially when you consider the price point.

      The last time I was there I ordered the "duck confit" as a appetizer; I got a pan seared breast of duck. It seemed as though someone thought that "confit" was some sort of generic descriptor for duck.

      I would much rather go to someplace like Fid, where the room is pleasant and minimalist, leaving one to focus on outrageously good local ingrediants. The last time I was there I had a piece of local blue fin tuna that was out of this world.

      1. re: BarnNB

        I would have to agree. I have had only one outstanding dining experience at The Press Gang. The other two times were just fine.

        Fid is a unique restaurant with a chef that goes out of his way to use local products for a great dining experience. Don't go to Fid if you're in a rush though; it is a true, evening long, total dining experience. I recommend it as well.

    2. How about restaurants or hotel/inns with restaurnats on the Evangeline Trail and south shore?

      1 Reply
      1. re: BritishVirgin

        OK, here are my suggestions for the South Shore.

        Shelburne - Charlotte's Lane (Open May to Dec)
        Liverpool - Lane's Privateers Inn (owner is a sommelier, also great pub out back).
        - White Point Beach Lodge - nice beach, you can stay almost on it, not bad food, good wine list
        Lunenburg - Fleur de Sel
        - Il Trattoria - New Italian/Med place, great chef, opens tomorrow
        - The Knot Pub
        In Lunenburg there are lots of good B&B's if money not main object stay at
        www.boatbuilderscottage.com

      2. Brewnoser knows his/her restaurants... may I second the notion of Fleur de Sel and The Knot Pub in Lunenburg (jury is out on Il Trattoria as it is just opening this week, but looks promising). I would also add Large Margs for breakfast (that is if you can tear yourself away from the breakfast sandwiches on offer at Tim Hortons). LM's is not fancy, but off season, is a great place to eavesdrop on local life. And, BTW, if money IS an object you might want to check out www.stayinnovascotia.com...

        1. For an absolutely magical evening or evenings of Acadian dining & music I can't urge you too strongly to consider Chez Christophe on Rte, 1 in Grosse Coques. Btw, it is byob but wine, beer & spirits are readily available locally.The also have a B&B directly opposite the restaurant. Reservations for both are strongly advised during the summer Acadian festival season.

          Here is their website; http://www.chezchristophe.ca/

          And here is the original thread; http://www.chowhound.com/topics/322977

          2 Replies
          1. re: Harp00n

            Chez Christophe - what a sweet place! I was so happy to see it mentioned, because I have very fond memories of the place, but I'd forgotten the name. It's charming and homey, like being a guest in someone's kitchen.

            1. re: Pumpkinseed

              The sweet breezes of Spring & Summer will be on their way...hope to see you there :-)

          2. Thanks all. Does anyone know anything Trout Point Lodge?

            1 Reply
            1. re: BritishVirgin

              Boston here, only via t.v. voyeurism I'm afraid. WCVB, Channel 5's Chronicle magazine made a trek here a few years ago. Peter Mehegan, the shows host, raved at just about everything including the food. He's not a "gushy" kinda guy and considering the time, money & effort involved in doing a 15-20 minute segment for a New England regional station....well you get the picture

              BTW, I believe this is Relais & Chateaux listed so bring your your US/CD dollars or British pounds

            2. If you are in Halifax--Gios in The Prince George Hotel is THE BEST. Check it out--you would love it.

              1. Wolfville in the Annapolis Valley has some fantastic places. The Blomidon Inn, Actons, Tempest....

                1. I second Acton's in Wolfville www.actons.hub.org, Also I suggest the Chickenburger on the South Shore for a quick casual bite yum yum www.thechickenburger.com. Another wonderful restaurant is Mimi's in Mahone Bay...always excellant IMHO. I also recommend Tattingstone Inn in Wolfville

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: flipkeat

                    Chickenburger is in Bedford just outside Halifax, not on the South Shore. Are you thinking of a place called The turkey burger?

                  2. www.actons.hub.org whoops the other link didn't work hopefully this does

                    1. Any thoughts on Fiasco or Fid?

                      1. BV:

                        If you are in NS for two weeks, do your self a HUGE favour and head north to Cape Breton for a few days. This is the essence of Nova Scotia, and it is spectacular.

                        It is a bit out of your way, but the place is absolutely magical. Stick to the Cabot Trail in the northwest part of the island and make certain to hit Ingonish and Margaree. Great golf, seafood, regional music, etc. to be had along the way.

                        1. BV - I highly recommend a visit to the Grand Pres winery near Wolfville (over near the Bay of Fundy & Annapolis Valley) - they produce some excellent wines - there is a restaurant with outdoor dining on the premises - and it's a beautiful spot.

                          1. Here's another recommendation for Chez Christophe in Grosses Coques. I'm from the Boston area but I have a summer home nearby, and you cannot beat Christophe's for a homey good meal. Try the fabulous scallops sauteed JUST right. To sample the traditional Acadian "special occasion" dish, ask for a sample of rappie (pronounced roppie) pie. A visit to the area is not complete without trying it. For dessert, I highly recommend the berry pie warmed up with a dab of vanilla ice cream and cheddar on the side...now what could be better?

                            Rudders is the place to be seen in Yarmouth, but it has the menu has the feel and blandness of a chain.

                            Another superb meal can be had at a cafe by the wharf in West Pubnico. It opened a couple of years ago, and is spotless. The highlight there is the lobster poutine. You can hear your heart valves clogging as you enjoy french fries with gravy, cheese and lobster all piled on top. Me, I top it all off with a chocolate milk shake. Enjoy, as you're not going ot eat it every day! If only....

                            By the way, everyone is bilingual, and they can spot a tourist a mile away.

                            Enjoy the area. Vive L'Acadie!!!

                            1. Make a special visit to Mabou in Cape Breton this summer to eat an exceptional meal and listen to some live, authentic East-coast music at Rankin-family owned The Red Shoe Pub. Prepare to be amazed!!! http://www.redshoepub.com/menu.htm

                              1. If you haven't already been for your visit, I'd love to reiterate a couple of the places mentioned here already.

                                In Halifax, Fid is my restaurant of choice - some one here described the atmosphere as minimalist, which I think is accurate. The service is attentive and informed and the food is fabulous, with lots of focus on local ingredients.

                                In Lunenburg, I finally had the chance recently to get to Fleur de Sel, which is now rivaling Fid for my top favourite. We had the tasting menu which really gave a sample of all that they have on offer. I can't say enough about the cold Green Olive Soup and the chocolate cake we had for dessert (and everything in between was fabulous as well.) The restaurant is in a converted house that is very typical of Lunenburg architecture and would certainly be worth a visit for that as well as the meal.

                                A place that I've never been to (or see discussed on this board?) but which one of my co-workers raves about is Rhubarb. http://www.rhubarbgrill.com/ It's near Peggy's Cove which is a likely stop on your travels if you're visiting tourist locales.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: parleek

                                  We loved Magnolia in Lunenburg - SO good and very quaint. They get busy though so reservations are a plus.

                                  1. re: Heyteacher

                                    Magnolias doesn't take reservations... so you'll have to put your name on the list and wait with everyone else. ;-)

                                2. Are there any places that you can recommend for music and dinner in Ingonish?