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Oct 13, 2007 06:43 PM

Halifax Restaurants

Looking for the best places to eat in town...

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  1. Just read through this board - it will give you pretty much all you need to know about dining in Halifax. Halifax isn't that big. It has some good restaurants though.

    1. A few suggestions: FID is very good and has an excellent reputation for use of local produce, meats and fish. It is pricey.

      A good sushi restaurant is Sushi Nami; they have an imaginative menu (check out the black sesame ice cream). Both are downtown, off Spring Garden Road, near Pete's Fruitique (THE best grocery store EVER!!!)

      If you like Italian food, in its many variations, all of them are catered to at one or other of the Il Mercato-Bish-DaMaurizio group (not a chain, same family runs them all).

      On a totally different level, the best "soul food" in town can bve found at the Starlight Cafe.(Halifax has a large population of Afro-Canadians with a proud heritage in NS).

      And, my personal fave, for a good old-fashioned fish fry experience, is out along the Bedford Highway at The Esquire.

      If you make it down to Lunenburg, check out both Fleur de Sel and Trattoria della Nonna, stopping at The Biscuit Eater in Mahone Bay on the way.

      20 Replies
      1. re: LJS

        A tiny correction, LJS, to your otherwise impeccable recommendations. Stephanie and Maurizio Bertossi sold da Maurizio over the summer to the chef and manager who have been running it for the last few years. So it's no longer part of the family.

        Might I also recommend Morris East. My partner in crime, Tempest in a Teapot, recently wrote a review for her own blog, and for infomonkey.

        We really enjoyed it. It's a restaurant that I've been dreaming about for 15 years, since I had my first wood-fired oven pizza in Portland, Oregon.

        1. re: Smartlikestreetcar

          Not only have the Bertossis sold Da Maurizio, but I note that their home is now also for sale. Whether that is a good sign or a bad sign I do not know.

          1. re: Greg B

            As is their bedford location I do believe.

          2. re: Smartlikestreetcar

            Great timing! I am on my way back to NS next week (my daughter and husband both get to live there-I am still stuck in the middle). So where is Morris East? and can you provide a link to Tempest's blog?I have been to Fiasco's and know the others...sigh, so many options, so few meals...

            1. re: LJS

              Hi LJS—

              Morris East is on Morris Street, just at the intersection of Morris & Barrington, next door to Ginger Grass (the old Khin Do). The menu is supposed to change every month— I haven't been this month to check.

              Some reviews:

              Bill Spurr did one the same week as Valerie Mansour, but The Herald deleted it. His only complaint was a crust that got soggy after "a couple of minutes on the plate"; a complaint echoed by Liz Feltham, above. I've visited repeatedly and never had a soggy crust, but it's often very busy, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility.

              Hope you like it there as much as I did!

              1. re: tempest in a teapot

                Ate at Morris East twice. Pizza very good but the service was so bad as to make me forget the food. Waiters were the typical good looking young women dressed in black who acted as if they could care less about diners. Answering the phone seemed important though

                1. re: bikerider56

                  I'm sorry to hear that. We've been in about six times (sometimes at odd hours— late lunch, etc.) but we've always found the waitstaff attentive and charming.

                  1. re: bikerider56

                    I'm also surprised (and sorry) to hear that. I've been to Morris East a bunch of times and always had great service.

                    1. re: bikerider56

                      Had a wonderful dinner at Morris East just last week. The service could not have be better....warm, attentive, professional....and the pizza was superb. A great place!

                      1. re: josephnl

                        I took three people to Morris East in March based on the recommendations from this thread. We arrived around 9:30 on a Friday and it looked like they were closing up shop for the night. Another party arrived at the same time, so Jen (the owner) decided to stay open and asked her staff to stay on. We had fantastic food and service. The flavour combinations were well thought out, and the traditional pizza (tomato, basil, mozza) was expertly prepared. I can't coment on the crust getting soggy because it didn't have a chance. Recommended.

                        1. re: shaggydee

                          That is gratifying...its not like I cooked the meal or anything, but it does make me feel pleased that somebody ate well because of a restaurant I think is swell, too. Yes, Jen is marvelous...she really listened to my daughter's allergy mention and won friends for life. My daughter and her partner go twice a week for her gluten free pizzas and desserts.

                    2. re: tempest in a teapot

                      I made it to Morris East a few weeks ago and thought it was very good. It is a restaurant that specializes in pizza, not a pizza joint, so don't expect to get out of there cheap.

                  2. re: Smartlikestreetcar

                    Ate at both da Maurizio and Morris East last week. Although the two restaurants could not be different (the former quite formal, and the latter super casual), we thought both were terrific. Actually we were wondering if da Maurizio might not be better since it was sold...the service there was far better than we recently had at Bish.

                  3. re: LJS

                    I actually really didn't enjoy my meal at the Esquire. My fish was overcooked, which was completely disappointing. I know so many people that have had good meals there, but I really didn't have a great experience.

                    1. re: FashionDiva84

                      I've visited the Esquire a few times over the last couple of years and have never been impressed. It is sort of like a "worst of" 1950s food experience. One visit I ordered the tuna melt because I never had one in my life previously, believe it or not. This version, at least, was terrible. Came with a salad of mostly iceberg lettuce, some carrot shreds, a couple of tomato slices and Kraft italian dressing. Ugh. I've never been keen on the place after that, though the atmosphere is straight out of the 50s and authentic. A majority of their customers seem to be older than average, maybe because of that.

                    2. re: LJS

                      can someone tell me where the starlight is located? thanks

                      1. re: ddb

                        5467 Cornwalis at the corner of Gottingen and Cornwalis. Most definitely call ahead before going as I am not sure when they are open.902-425-8051

                      2. re: LJS

                        I looked at the website from Trattoria della Nonna.
                        It looks great.
                        But what about the prices.
                        Are they expencive?



                        1. re: anita82

                          You know that is one question I never dare to answer of behalf of others: MY 'totally doable' may be your 'NO WAY' husband I paid $180 there a couple of months ago for the whole deal: drinks before, wine with, appetizer, meat entree with full veg, dessert and tip.

                          We could have spent $250 if we had added soup/salad and a better wine or we could have spent $80 if we had pizza, salad and the house wine.

                          It is so hard to judge...

                          1. re: anita82

                            Compared to Chives, Bish, Cut and Gio, no. It's in Lunenburg so do your homework first. Check out the menu on line, food and wine. Our meal there was a pleasant surprise. We ended up in the 'basement ' and it is noisy but the service and food, quality and quantity, made up for any apprehension we may have had. The best Osso Bucco, hopefully that's the correct spelling, I have had in some time. The wine suits the food. As a hint as to how relaxed /confident the staff is; I asked our waiter how to pronounce the name of the winery. The waiter said, In my best Blue Rocks accent I would say.......

                            Blue Rocks is a village outside Lunenburg. Enjoy your visit.

                        2. Some others to consider: Fiasco, Seven, Onyx, and Chives.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: tempest in a teapot

                            HIGHLY reccommend Fiasco, Seven and Chives. I've only had drinks at Onyx

                          2. I had dinner recently at Mezza, on Quinpool. Remarkable! It is mostly all Lebanese food, but prepared very well indeed and served in a high-style atmosphere. Highly recommended if you like Lebanese dishes,.

                            1. Never been to Sushi Nami itself, but there was a takeout location of their stuff at the Sunnyside mall outside Pete's Frootique that I was always sure to stop at when in Halifax after my Pete's shopping. Love the moon-pie pizza there at that food court too. A take-out favorite down by the Spring Garden Pete's location, is the Italian Gourmet.

                              I still love Opa however i wish they'd bring back the Swordfish souvlaki. A platter there can do two meals easy, and they let you substitute vegetarian or seafood options for the meat dishes easily (love the vegetarian moussaka). The vegetarian stuffed pepper though was kind of bland and watery. The saganaki opa for appetizer is great. Athens on Quinpool was also very good.

                              Love The Old Triangle for atmosphere and they've got some good food there too. Been to Saege for brunch which was nice but not mind-blowing. Had a great seafood meal at McKelvie's once. Sweet Basil has been really good both times i've been. Enjoyed the Celtic Corner on my visit there. Fantastic seafood chowder at Peggy's Cove.

                              Have been to a couple of fantastic Indian and Thai restaurants in Halifax. Not great at remembering names...I think it was Thai Chin i've been to a couple of times and it was fantastic, green papaya salad that knocked my socks off. Lucked into the Thai beer only once. Had a shrimp vindaloo at i think Curry Village (reasonable debit machine..ring a bell?)...that was so hot it felt like my face was melting but it was so flavorful that i couldn't stop eating it.

                              Can't beat the historic properties for summertime eats or just lounging with a beer.

                              Had a disappointing experience at Piccolo Mondo and service at the Waterfront was poor from what i could recall, but the lobster pasta was good.

                              Just a couple i've visited in my travels to the city, i look forward to trying more.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: im_nomad

                                The Wooden Monkey located at 1685 Argyle Street is really good. They try to use local products and also ones that are farmed or caught in environmentally friendly or sustainable ways. I have had the Monkey Pita and the Country Sausage Pizza. Also one of the best pieces of Pumpkin Pie I ever had was there. They also have pizza on wheat free crusts and have lots of vegetarianoptions if you need.

                                1. re: im_nomad

                                  We have been visiting Nova scotia in June last year.
                                  My mom lives there and we are from the netherlands.

                                  We visited Opa and I loved it.
                                  Tippical that every kitchen is differend in every country.
                                  Greek tastes totaly differend in a restaurant than it does in canada?????
                                  Straings but it doesn't mather.

                                  I love the lobster in the restaurant at the Halls harbour lobsterpound.
                                  But that's not in Halifax.