I spent a week in Halifax last month. Visiting favourite restaurants is like visiting old friends – there’s never enough time to spend with all of them. I made it to the Economy Shoe Shop, the Wooden Monkey, Sushi Nami, and of course, the Henry House (twice). The food was all just as great as I remembered, especially the seafood. I tried to get at least one dish a day made with fish or shellfish. The night we went to Five Fisherman, I had a lovely seared tuna and many, many plates of mussels from their mussel bar. Nothing says “vacation” to a prairie girl quite like a week’s worth of fresh fish. Yum.
Posts Tagged ‘Halifax’
I’m back from my trip, and while I miss the people and the food, I’m so glad to be out of the rain! Last weekend’s weather has confirmed for me that I’d never make it on the coast. Much too damp.
The drizzly weather did make for a good excuse to spend a great deal of time hiding out in the local cafes. My first stop was the Gingerbread Haus, where I had coffee and a delectable almond ring. I also stopped at the Barrington Just Us cafe for a London Fog. Beautiful thing, this milky, vanilla-y tea.
Another hit was the stop I made at Cargo & James. I’d been once before leaving Halifax, and thought I’d give it another go on my way home from the market. Had an iced Morocco Mint, which was fabulous. I bought a tin of the tea (peppermint, spearmint, sunflower and hibiscus petals, rosehips) and it’s just as good at home as it was by the sea.
I’m getting ready for a weekend back in Halifax. The airfare was right, and I’ve been missing all my east coast friends, so I’m trading prairie sunshine for a few days in the wet and the snow.
I have a feeling a lot of my time will revolve around food. I really miss a lot of my favourite restaurants, and will be revisiting as many as possible: Tarboosh, The Gingerbread Haus, The Henry House, etc. I’ve also timed this visit to coincide with the last week of Dine Out Nova Scotia, so I’ll be having at least one big meal at a posher restaurant. Haven’t decided which one yet… The menus all look fabulous.
A trip to the farmers’ market will also be in order, though I probably won’t be buying much in the way of produce. I’m debating smuggling a bag of oysters home, though.
I had a wonderful lunch on Thursday at the Wooden Monkey. It was extra special, as it was the first time I’ve met up with another food blogger – Ruth, from Once Upon a Feast. The meal was lovely, and just perfect for a warm autumn day. She had the lamb burger, and I had the scallop and almond salad. We chatted about food, family, and our new lives out on the East coast, both agreeing that Halifax is great, but it takes a bit of getting used to.
Later that afternoon, some friends and I hit the ice cream shop in the Public Gardens. They take already delicious ice cream, and mix in a variety of tasty toppings. I had old school vanilla ice cream with chunks of waffle cone. Delicious, and served in a delightfully ironic coffee cup. If the hot weather keeps up, I might have to go back.
One of my favourite Halifax restaurants is a sunken retreat at the intersection of Spring Garden and Barrington. Niche is a sweetly posh lounge and supper club that serves solidly good food with just the right assortment of wines and cocktails. Tonight was my third visit – the first time I’d been on my own – and it did not disappoint.
The first time I visited Niche was back in October. My mother and I walked over, late in the evening after she’d flown in from Calgary, and had a perfect late-night supper. My sweet chili shrimp was just right – not too spicy, even down to the last slice of red pepper. Mom went with the panfried haddock, seeing as how it was her first night on the East coast, and it set the stage for a week full of fantastic fish.
When my godparents came to Halifax a few months later, I again used Niche as an introduction to Halifax cuisine. We split a nice range of appetizers – proscuitto scallops, coconut shrimp and a cheesy artichoke dip – along with a few glasses of the local brew. There was live music that night (as on all Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights) – a lively jazz band that, while a bit loud for the low ceilings, was a nice touch for this cozy restaurant.
Tonight’s trip to Niche occured on a whim. I had just had my hair cut, and felt the need to posh it up. It was late in the evening, and there weren’t too many people in the lounge, but the kitchen was still open. My server, Kate, made me feel immediately welcome, and continued to be attentive through the night. I wasn’t drawn to any of the appetizers, so I went with the house salad paired with dilled goat cheese crostini, something I had wanted to try on a previous visit. The balsamic-dressed salad could have benefitted from a sprinkling of roasted pecans (it’s a classic combination for a reason), but on the whole, it was a great meal. The goat cheese-topped crostini were definitely the high point of the meal. Along with a rich glass of Australian chardonnay, it was a fantastic end to a fantastic evening.