The Foodie Edition
While putting together my Best of 2017 moments I was also inspired to conjure up my favourite new foodie experiences of 2017. It was hard to pick a top ten, which is why I opted for twelve. Trust me, there were many others I could have included.
I spent a lot of time in Dartmouth this year due to frequent visits to my dermatologist. After one of my first appointments, which involved a very unpleasant biopsy, I decided I needed something to pick me up.
When I hobbled from the clinic there she was, The Portland Street Crêperie. Food therapy never felt so good. I opted for the Chocolate Covered Berry with their own homemade Strawberry Coulis. With so many sweet and savory options to choose from you know I have been back again and again.
No, I am not referring to an ailment unless you call my love for delicious food and wine enogastronomia; which is Italian for the appreciation of good food and wine. If you are looking for authentic Italian cuisine then look no further than Il Trullo located at King’s Warf in Dartmouth. Momma Mia, these ARANCINI/ RISOTTO BALLS were hard to share on my first visit.
Dartmouth has only been twenty minutes away for the past fifteen years. Yet it was only two months ago when I discovered Two If By Sea, often referred to as TIBS by its regulars. I preordered a Christmas Eve pick-up but still waited hours for them. My kid thought I was crazy to wait on such a busy day. My kid has since changed his mind after tasting the almond croissant. My favourite being prosciutto.
All The Seafood
Living near the ocean offers up endless possibilities when it comes to enjoying a variety of seafood dishes. While I have had more than my share closer to home in Halifax my new favourites can be found on Prince Edward Island and just off the Cabot Trail.
Many east coasters boast about having the best seafood chowder. I have sampled many. However, if you remember my summer travels to PEI you will remember By The Roadside Gallery and Cafe. It is still my top pick since tasting it back in June. But it has not stopped me from trying more of course.
Cape Breton’s Finest
When exploring the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia your eyes will no doubt devour the scenery. While feeding your soul do not forget to stop along the way to take advantage of the lively food scene. Some of the finest eatery’s can be found even as far out as Dingwall, just off the trail.
If you are looking for a place to stay, check out The Markland Coastal Beach and Cottages. I have yet to find a more stunning view in the province. Pair that with their stellar menu and you have no reason to ever want to leave. I could have eaten my weight in scallop’s but saved room for the blueberry pie. The berries foraged just hours before I dined.
If you do decide to venture past the Markland I do recommend stopping into Danena’s Bakery and Bistro. You will find it just minutes up the road offering delicious homemade cooking. I only had a cup of chowder but wanted my friends fish burger. I tried a nibble, I instantly had food envy.
City dining can be tricky with much to choose from. Halifax has more than its share of amazing places to dine. My new favourites of 2017 include an out of the way cafe, a brand new brunch menu, and a new old favourite.
Even though dining at Gio is not a new experience it once again offered up a revised spring and summer menu. This is something I love and hate regarding my go-to downtown restaurant. They took away my Banana Stand but gave me the Buddha Bowl in 2017. The many fresh flavours and versatility of this dish are what keeps me going back for more. I still want my Banana Stand back though.
Back in June, the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront decided to launch a new patio called Stone’s Throw. After only one visit I was hooked. The menu was simple but with every item well thought out. A stone pizza oven in one corner with a well-stocked bar close by. The waterfront made the perfect backdrop. I fell in love with their quinoa crisps and tried to mimic it at home. It was not as good which is why I look forward to them coming back in 2018.
Tart and Soul
The name alone caught my attention. When I first checked out this carefully tucked away downtown cafe I was taken with the giant cinnamon bun generously doused with cream cheese icing. I did not order it, I thought it was overkill. However, as I sat and drank their deliciously dark coffee I watched every other person buy one. I had to know for myself what all the fuss was. WOW! My eyes rolled with delight as soon as the fork hit my lips.
Brunch it Up
When it comes to brunch there are also quite a few places to choose from in the downtown Halifax area. This year, however, I found a new spot to visit. La Fresca, on Spring Garden Road. They recently added a brunch menu that not only offers a variety of options but the price is also very reasonable for a downtown establishment. I highly recommend the fish cakes, although my friend’s eggs benny was also quite delish!
A Couple More Gems
Rounding out my best of are two places that will most likely become regular spots for me in 2018. I want more and intend to make it so.
I cannot always make it downtown for brunch which is why I was extremely happy to find Good Day Kitchen and Cafe. This tiny cafe in Fall River is not only adorable it also offers freshly made meals that had me from my first bite of their frittata.
Saving the Best for Last
If there is one place that I absolutely must go back to again and again in 2018 it just has to be Mateus Bistro located in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. It was one of those meals that had me savoring every bite. I tried not to zone out while dining with the six others in attendance but I got lost in these dishes quite a few times. Especially the vegan risotto with chanterelle mushrooms. It is worth the drive to Mahone Bay.
Happy New Year, everyone.