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nova scotia

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I've got friends (restaurantuers/chefs) visiting Nova Scotia in July, just wondering if anyone is familiar with the area, and food scene.
TIA
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #2 of 15
I don't know if they do meals for people not staying at the inn, but Trout Point Lodge is pretty hot stuff in Nova Scotia. Creole/Cajun cuisine. They started (in the food business, anyway) as cheese-makers in New Orleans, and then opened this very cool lodge in Nova Scotia. Their cookbook is nifty stuff indeed -- the things they make out of bullrush roots and whatnot are amazing, they smoke everything themselves (fish, I mean :lol:), and they're sort of recreating the totality of Acadian food from arrival in Canada to maturation in New Orleans.
post #3 of 15
I think that one of the members here, I think his surname is MacPherson, comes from NS.
post #4 of 15
Allan McPherson is a member here and lives in Halifax. I live in Cape Breton Island (part of Nova Scotia) but when I worked for WW I had to travel the entire province multiple times. Where in Nova Scotia will your friends be? I'd love to send you some recommendations!
post #5 of 15
if you are doing a serious tour of nova scotia, make sure to not skip the annapolis valley. in addition to being a rapidly-growing hotspot for wine (there are three wineries within a 10 minute drive from wolfville), the local produce is really kicking into gear right now for the summer. i am a line cook at tempest world cuisine on front street in wolfville, a fine dining restaurant which focuses heavily on slow food (the chef/owner is the convivium leader of slow food nova scotia).
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Chris, I remember those LA farmstead cheesemakers from when I was living in LA.....1980-1995....big buzz about them. I had heard they gave up the farm but didn't know where they ended up. So, cool to know..:smiles:

I'll ask where they are staying and get back to you.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #7 of 15
Here's a few recommendations....

For Halifax I'll throw out a few goodies...but Al McPherson could probably provide even more insight...

Gios in the Prince George Hotel...amazing food...cutting edge, fresh, seasonal, innovative....expensive but worth every penny

Halliburton House Inn...have a friend who works there...I'm sure he'll chime in when they let him off the line!

Pete's Frootique in the Bedford Place Mall...just a great foodie experience!

Julien's Pastry Shop in Chester....authentic French pastries and bread from scratch made by an old world master. I love this guy and his wife!

Antigonish (mainland Nova Scotia heading towards Cape Breton)--Gabrieau's Bistro and Gabrieau's Culinary Closet. Great food...and fun kitchen gadgets all in one handy spot!

For Cape Breton...

If you're on the Cabot Trail...stop at The Purple Thistle Dining Room (fine dining) or the Atlantic Restaurant (casual fine dining) in the Keltic Lodge. Great food, great views.....one of Canada's top rated golf courses (the Highland Links) is directly next store.

In Belle Cote (also on the Cabot Trail just outside of Cheticamp)...try the Island Sunset Resort and Spa. Located on the beautiful Belle Cote beach. Have their own lobster pound. It's casual fine dining and quite good.

In Sydney Mines--check out my shop--Simply Sweet Patisserie and Chocolate Shop!

There are tons more...but that'll get you started!
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much!
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #9 of 15
They let me off of the line! I'm living in Halifax and am pretty familiar with the area. I work at Stories restaurant at the Haliburton. Too obvious if I recommend it? Truth is I'm really proud of the food we put out. We set our menu daily and put a lot of import on regional produce. I would also second Gio, had the most fun tasting menu in ages there a little while back.

Halifax is not a big city by any means but we are lively. On a per capita basis I'd say our dinning options score pretty well.

Feel free to PM me and I'd be happy to do the 20 questions thing.

--Al
post #10 of 15
Al--have you been to Bish? I've not been yet but I hear good things about it.

About three years ago one of my former boss' favourite places to take us in Dartmouth (I think!) was Cafe Michele.

Il Mercato--in the same mall as Pete's Frootique--was enjoyable my last visit there.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. We are flying into Halifax and will spend the night, then drive into Cape Breton. We will be staying in Mabou and take day trips from there. Then maybe 1 or 2 days back in Halifax.

info from friends visiting your exciting area
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #12 of 15
I haven't been to Bish in a couple of years. It was our city's first real stab at a modern flashy fusion style menu. If I remember the concept of the menu was more exciting than the execution. Also the acoustics in the dinning room are weird. Again, they've had two chefs since last I ate there.

Il Mercato (the same owners) has always been a good stand by. Solid, simple Italian food presented artfully. Good for the money. Service, I find, spotty.

Onyx, is another good bet for modern, inventive food. The two darlings of Halifax are Fid and Chives. Both fly the flag of local, regional.

One warning about Halifax--Fish. Yes we are a harbour town. Yes we have access to lots of fresh fish. And yes, most "seafood / lobster" places overcook the poor critters into oblivion. I think its a part of the local palate but "flakes off the fork" is considered a good thing with fish. brrrr...

--Al
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
good to know...bummer.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #14 of 15
Al--what about Cut? I've heard good things about it too.

Mabou...okay...you're in my neck of the woods.....are you planning to travel the Cabot Trail and/or more of the island? I'll try to come up with some recommendations for you.

The Herring Choker Cafe and Bakery on the Transcanada Hwy in Nyanza is quite good. I LOVE their multigrain bread. It's pricey but it's value for your money. Nice little lunch place.

There's a little place in Bras D'Or (about fifteen minutes from my shop) called Lick a Chick. It's a local spot that attracts alot of attention. Worth a stop in just to have your picture taken there! I nearly fell out of the car I laughed so hard when I first saw the place. Right next door to Lick a Chick....Lick a Treat. So there you have it! They basically do a very salty fried chicken...but if you want to really experience Cape Breton...you have to at least stop at Lick a Chick.

Baddeck has some great places to eat. If you want seafood..and good seafood...try the Bell Buoy. Gisele's Inn also has great food.

In St Ann's--the Lobster Galley specializes in seafood. Again it's pricey...but good food. And their desserts are to die for (I supply them! A shameless plug, I know!)

Sydney...I'd be hard pressed to give you a good recommendation...I'm not wild about any of the restaurants in Sydney. The best of the lot would be the restaurant I used to work for--Allegro Grill and Deli. Goody's Cafe in the Cambridge Suites gets good reviews. So does the Highland Mermaid in the Delta Sydney. Oh---I hear good things about a new place called Flavor.

The Grubstake in Louisbourg was good the last time I was there.

Cape Breton is more of a casual dining place...you won't find a whole lot of fine dining here. And most of the restaurants serve primarily good old fashioned Cape Breton fare. Some with a touch of Newfoundland influence.

One thing to beware of....every restaurant you go to is going to have seafood chowder on the menu. Very few of them do a good chowder. The Island Sunset's is divine. If you go there I'd highly recommend that along with the chef's signature snow crab tartlette. LOVELY!

If you do come out towards Sydney give me a call...I'd love to put together a little tasting menu for you.

Let me know if you need directions anywhere or recommendations on specific places you'd like to visit. I'd be glad to help if I am able.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks Chefelle.....it's a couple of my friends who are vacationing in NS the first week of July.

It sounds lovely, I'd love to visit your area and share a meal or two.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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