East Coast Style
This past weekend J and I headed out east to the beautiful province of Nova Scotia. My cousin C was getting married, so we took this momentous occasion as an excellent opportunity, to visit with family and become reacquainted with Halifax, after a nearly 20 year absence.
Of course, being the self proclaimed foodie I am you know that I'm going to make it my mission to eat at the best restaurants the city has to offer. And I did. Consider this my visual gift to you, or perhaps, me bragging about all the great eats in NS.
Here are the highlights and my personal recommendations on dishes to order if you ever find yourself so lucky to visit historic Halifax.
Two If By SeaButter. Butter. More Butter.
Two If By Sea was our first stop after our red eye flight. I was actually thinking about these croissants the entire time we were in the air. So upon landing and starving we headed out to make my dreams come true...
Plain CroissantI'm certain I had my yearly butter quota met with just this 1, albeit, jumbo croissant. It was delicious, buttery, flaky, rich, buttery, and a Nova Scotia 'must have.' I'm serious. By a plane ticket. Eat a croissant, (plain, pain au chocolate, almond, prosciutto, or one of each) Hop back on the plane. Send me a thank you note. Better yet, bring me back a croissant. Please.
The Bicycle ThiefGreat Food. Great Atmosphere.
Located on the waterfront, this was the first reservation I made on our vacation. Rave reviews by other diners, plus a menu that is sure to appeal to the masses made it an easy choice. Plus, let's talk about how cool the restaurant name is. Outside you'll find chained up bicycles, while inside wheels and Christmas lights make for unique light fixtures.
And then came the food.
homegrown | tomato, garlic, basil pesto, white wine & toasted croutons
You know a dish is good, when a mussel sceptic (aka my dad) tells me over and over how delicious this appetizer was. I on the other hand, have the unique ability to eat my body weight worth in mussels, I love them so. We all agreed that the sauce would be perfect on pasta, gnocchi, anything. The flavours were excellent, but then again how can you go wrong with pesto and white wine. My favourite part was when the toasted croutons soaked up the sauce. Mmmm. Leftover sauce + leftover bread basket = Happy Me.
Pancetta, slow roasted cherry tomatoes, Arugula, Pecorino cheese
Lemon Meringue Pie
very tart lemon, brown sugar meringue, graham cracker crust
I loved that the crust was crushed graham crackers, the tart lemon filling was perfect, but it was the meringue that was the clencher. So delicious. 3 perfect layers of citrus dessert heaven.
Chives Canadian Bistro
Amazing. Exceptional. A Must.
This was our last meal in Halifax, and wow, what a way to finish off the trip. I'm certain if I would have tried this restaurant on day 1, I would have been back on day 2 and 3. I can't praise them enough.
Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits
buttermilk biscuits. Not only were these delicious, but they came served in a paper bag. A perfectly rustic presentation in my opinion. Let's also agree that because they came in a paper bag one could "hypothetically" ask for say another bag to take home? Hypothetically of course. I'm in biscuit heaven.
Braised Nova Scotia Lamb Du Jour
roasted squash risotto, market vegetables, sherry lamb jus reduction, and pumpkin seeds
I'm not even sure where to begin with this dish (I wish I had a photo, since my words won't begin to do it justice.) Every component of it was perfect. The lamb was exceptional, it melted in your mouth it was so tender, the risotto was beyond flavourful - top notch, and the sherry reduction finished off everything wonderfully.
This dish was hands down one of the top two meals I have ever eaten. I'm still dreaming about it. I will probably always dream about it. My complements to the chef you out did yourself. Seasonal ingredients and a true passion for cooking lends itself to a meal that is worthy of the highest recommendation.
Tomato Bocconcini Salad
grilled & sliced steak tomatoes, bocconcini, house made pesto & aged balsamic vinaigrette
I need to remake this at home ASAP. Hello, pesto and cheese, don't mind if I do. Minimal ingredients, maximum flavour, this is salad done right.
Let's not forget about a maritime essential: LOBSTER. Of course I had one, how could I not, I'm pretty sure not eating one while on the east coast is grounds to be locked up. Only one problem. Being an Alberta girl I know nothing about de-shelling a lobster. Luckily most east coasters do, it's probably taught around the same time as the alphabet. Mmmm, lobster bliss.
All in all J & I had a wonderful vacation. Time spent exploring the beautiful city, eating our way through it, and of course, visiting my fantastic family. I'm already looking forward to the next one, until then, I'm probably just going to drool over these photos.