By Janice Hudson
Stuck on a good thing
The Stubborn Goat Gastropub on Grafton Street boasts a selection of comfort-food classics like meatloaf, mac and cheese, hand-cut fries with truffle salt, woodstone-oven baked pizza and oven-roasted whole fish and chips. The weekend brunch menu boasts an inventive list of options (try the eggs benedict with avocado and chilies for a spicy kick). For an accompanying beverage, choose from local and international craft beers. Drop in for Cask Friday and try out a new local brew.
Dee Dee’s Ice Cream on Cornwallis Street in the North End has an old-fashioned ice cream parlour charm. Each pint of gourmet ice cream is churned by hand, creating flavours from fresh local fruit and berries, including rhubarb, blueberries, Haskap berries and even locally grown Arctic kiwis. Mexican chocolate (dark European cocoa with hits of cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne pepper) and banana cardamom are hot sellers—and delicious together. The café also serves a selection of delicious burritos.
For 25 years now, Bearly’s House of Blues on Barrington Street has hosted great live blues and jazz. (On Sunday nights, join savvy local music lovers for Bearly’s Blues Jam). With Ace Burger running the kitchen, gourmet burgers and hand-cut fries are the house specialty. Try the Big Bad Wolf burger, featuring crispy pork belly from Oulton’s Farm in Windsor, N.S., back bacon from Brothers Meats in the North End, bacon jam, smoked gouda and a fried egg.
The secret garden
You wouldn’t know it walking by, but stylish Stories at The Halliburton hotel on Morris Street boasts a magical outdoor dining experience. Teeming with flowers and ornamental trees in every shape and colour, it’s a haven in the middle of one of Halifax’s oldest city blocks. Tall elm trees provide shade and there’s even a bubbling fountain at the garden’s heart. The courtyard is open Tuesday through Saturday 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., closed on Sundays and Mondays. Whether you’re dining inside or out, Chef Scott Vail’s menu changes with the seasons, featuring flavourful local ingredients and fresh East Coast game and seafood.
•For a spectacular waterfront view and seafood galore, Salty’s on the Waterfront on Upper Water Street is hard to beat. The array of seafood dishes includes crab cakes, steaming hot mussels in the shell, fresh lobster and Maritime seafood chowder.
•Perched on the end of Cable Wharf, Murphy’s Restaurant is another must-visit for seafood lovers. The big patio, with ocean on three sides, is an ideal spot to while away a sunny afternoon.
Slice of life
Using only fresh seasonal ingredients and a wood-fired oven, Morris East on Morris Street (with a second location in Bedford on Larry Uteck Boulevard) creates gourmet artisanal pizzas. Restaurateur Jennie Dobbs offers creative lunch and dinner menus featuring wood-fired sandwiches, organic salads, inventive appetizers and decadent desserts. (Try the fire-roasted s’more, featuring a housemade marshmallow toasted with chocolate ganache and graham cracker). Dobbs and her team also craft many cocktail cordials on-site, with fresh-pressed fruit and berries.