Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Halifax cafe in uproar over scuttlebutt

Ireland32 owner seeks to quash rumours about business handover

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Ireland32 enjoyed their grand opening early in the month of June, with Noel Gallagher having taken over the popular Quinpool spot Carlitos from previous owner Carlos Wong. When the changeover happened, Gallagher was the building owner. Shoptalk spoke to Wong back in March, who told us that though relations with his landlord were good, the reason he couldn’t continue with his business was because the rent had been raised. “A little bit drastic,” is how he described the increase to Shoptalk.

Gallagher has been in touch wanting to give his side of the tale. He says that the rumour that Wong was muscled out and forced to sell the business to Gallagher is untrue.

He says Wong had been paying a fixed rate of $1,100 a month for rent on the place for six years. “For his new lease term…we increased the rent to $1,300 to absorb the cost in new work done on the building along with new siding and increase mortgage rate,” writes Gallagher in an email. “Carlos came to us and said it was too high, he couldn't afford it. We went back to Carlos, told him we would work with him so we'd keep his current rent fixed at $1,100, but Carlos refused. We then offered him to go month-to-month of $1,100 so he could have the opportunity to sell the business and make a profit for himself---still he refused…. We tried everything to help him keep his business in operation but he simply lost interest and motivation in the business. We offered Carlos money for the cafe, to keep it up and running but also allowing Carlos to make a profit. In the end, Carlos was very happy with the transaction.”

Gallagher says the rumour that he bullied his former tenant, that he wanted to raise the rent to $1,700---something he absolutely denies---is brought up to him at his new business regularly. He believes it has “a serious effect and can take a toll on our reputation.”

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fresh baked goods on Agricola and Jubilee

Fancy Pantry offers a weekly bread spread

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 4:00 AM

You may recall a Shoptalk item from late 2009, reporting that Fancy Pantry and Breads offered a sourdough bread delivery in the north end, the brainchild of baker Jessica Ross. Last summer she also offered an opportunity for you to buy bread from a farm market stall right off Agricola. Well, that’s starting up on Wednesdays again, with the help of her friend Dave Bethune, at two locations this summer: in front of Local Source Market (5783 Charles Street, 454-6014) and at Jubilee Junction (6273 Jubilee Road, 422-6957). Ross reports: “We are there from 3pm until 7pm selling fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, breads, sourdough and preserves.”
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Monday, June 28, 2010

Taj Mahal reopens

The popular Indian restaurant opens its doors

Posted By on Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Closed since a January fire that shut down three restaurants, including Thai Chin and Cafe Chianti, we’re pleased to report that Taj Mahal (5175 South Street, 492-8251) has reopened, so expect to find your murg makhani, your dhaba gosht masalaedar and your tandoori machi, all available once again. No word yet on when Thai Chin will reopen, but Cafe Chianti has moved around the corner, and can now be found at 1241 Barrington Street.
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Food fit for a Queen

We get the inside scoop on Queen Elizabeth's Halifax nosh.

Posted By on Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 10:48 PM


Government House, the official home for the Lieutenant Governor, is also the official residence for the Queen, if she so decides (there's no confirmation she's actually staying there). Walking in on Sunday afternoon it's so quiet, there's little indication that royalty's on its way—except for maybe the giant portrait on the staircase, and the metal barricades lined up outside. The 200-plus year-old pad certainly looks guest-ready, especially after three years of renovations that cost upwards of $6 million.

Government House's executive chef Steven Galvin was nice enough to open his kitchen and give us a look at what he's preparing for Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and their entourage.

Chef Steve rolls out orange, pecan white-chocolate biscotti for tea.
  • Chef Steve rolls out orange, pecan white-chocolate biscotti for tea.

Galvin is no stranger to cooking for dignitaries. Before he came to Halifax in October 2009, he was a chef for a Canadian ambassador in Rome. For this trip he'll be cooking two dinners, two teas and two breakfasts for the royal couple, as well as meals for their security and entourage of 14 and a reception for 60. He says he doesn't differentiate who he cooks for, Galvin wants it to be good, though he admits this is a special occasion. He will get a chance to meet the Queen and Prince Philip in a staff procession, but won't directly serve their meals.

Obviously Galvin needs a little help in the kitchen (which smells fantastic), and so he's enlisted other local chefs, including chef Erika Reeves from the Prince George who's making shortbread when I arrive.

Erika Reeves decorates shortbread.
  • Erika Reeves decorates shortbread.


The Queen apparently eats just about anything—Galvin sent her a package of menus from which she chose what she wants—but she doesn't eat shellfish when she travels (also, I have to imagine it's hard being queenly when you're wearing a lobster bib). On Tuesday night she will be eating Cape Breton Highland beef tenderloin (well-done) with a truffled lobster sauce, Caribou Island asparagus (picked on Saturday) and rosti potatoes accented with wild mushrooms.

See those barnacles? Thats what you want.
  • See those barnacles? That's what you want.

Wherever possible, Galvin uses local food and food vendors—though it's not quite the same as the food markets in Rome. All the seafood comes from Mikes Fish Shop, including Monday night's Atlantic Salmon Boudin with poached baby leeks, cucumber "sour kraut" and cucumber basil jelly. Will the Brits appreciate the play on German cuisine after Sunday's crushing World Cup defeat?


Breakfast for two: white toast, whipped butter, bran cereal, plain Fox Hill yoghurt, possible pancakes and bacon, maple syrup, blueberry syrup, cold homogenized milk, cream, coffee, milk
  • Breakfast for two: white toast, whipped butter, bran cereal, plain Fox Hill yoghurt, possible pancakes and bacon, maple syrup, blueberry syrup, cold homogenized milk, cream, coffee, milk.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Halifax Patio King hits 20

Your Father's Moustache reaches two decades high above Spring Garden

Posted By on Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 4:00 AM

As we slip silently into summer's gorgeous grasp, patio culture becomes a thing here in Halifax. It's worth noting that multiple winner in the Best of Food reader's poll for Best Patio---not to mention all the other awards its garnered---Your Father's Moustache (5686 Spring Garden Road, 423-6766) has been around for 20 years this year, started way back in 1990. Something to consider when you're up on the patio throwing back a brewski or sipping on a cocktail in the sun, 20 is like 200 in restaurant years. Be sure to congratulate those folks for so much good eats and good times. Even if it's raining, the dining room is a comfortable spot for every meal from breakfast to dinner, and Joe Murphy and the Water Street Blues Band still packs them in every Saturday afternoon from 4-8pm.
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cupcake camp: for adults

Johanna Gerrits gets the baking started in Halifax.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 17, 2010 at 4:00 AM

"CupcakeCamp is basically just bringing a city community together with the love of cupcakes!" says Johanna Gerrits, the organizer of this Sunday's cupcake gathering. And who doesn't love cupcakes? If you go to, you'll discover that the CupcakeCamp phenomenon is an international one, and Gerrits is simply getting the Halifax baking started. Email to let Gerrits know you're coming, bring some cupcakes (made or bought) and a suggested donation of $5 or $10 for the Canadian Cancer Society---"in honour of a friend who's duking it out with cancer"---and you're set for CupcakeCamp. Asked what she's going to whip up, Gerrits gives a delicious list. "I'm gonna do my Mexican hot chocolate, and I'm going to try and create a nanaimo bar cupcake," she muses. "I'm making probably five-dozen cupcakes!" There will be gluten-free options for those who want them.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

More Halifax World Cup venues

Niche Lounge Supperclub can host a big soccer party, too

Posted By on Sat, Jun 12, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Having seen Shoptalk give a shout-out last week to a few local venues prepping for World Cup action, the fine folks at Niche (1505 Barrington Street, 423-6632) blew their vuvuzela---the multi-decibel noise-making horn popular among soccer stadium dwellers---to remind us that they are going all out for World Cup celebrations by putting up a tent on their sprawling patio out front of the Maritime Centre. All the games will be shown live on their 100” HD screen, with regular food and drink specials to amuse your bouche as your eyes are taking in all the action.
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Friday, June 11, 2010

V for victory

Longtime Dartmouth restaurant The Ship’s Victory is renewed

Posted By on Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 4:00 AM

In the midst of renovations in its 35th year---The Ship’s Victory (400 Windmill Road, 463-7496) spread its nautical-styled sails in 1975---the family-owned establishment is planning to celebrate the changes, along with the Navy’s centenary, later this month. An email from manager Catherine MacDonald explains: “Over the last few months we have had new parking lot, new upholstery and we are getting a new paint job as I write this, plus numerous other updates.” Stop in to appreciate all this, and order their excellent beer-battered fish and chips.
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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Barrington Street shuffle

Cafe Chainti, Uncommon Grounds, new Korean restaurant

Posted By on Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 1:22 PM

There’s a retail shuffle going on on South Barrington Street. Cafe Chianti has moved into the former Bear space in the YWCA building (1241 Barrington Street). Then, Uncommon Grounds, having closed its Upper Water Street cafe, has moved all the furnishings and equipment to the former Cargo and James space in the same building. A couple of blocks up, renovations on the Freemasons Hall building (Barrington & Salter) continue, and a sign on the window announces a new Korean restro in the works.
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Monday, June 7, 2010

Halifax embraces World Cup

Local eateries Gatsby’s and Pipa lead with their feet

Posted By on Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Fans of footie are gearing up for the world-shaking, month-long soccer tournament and Spring Garden Road eatery Gatsby’s (5675 Spring Garden Road, 429-9999) has new owners who want you to know they’re ready for your bum in their seats when the whistle blows on June 11. They’re powering up a 106-inch high-def screen for taking in every pore on Cristiano Ronaldo’s face. And down on Argyle, Brazilian restaurant Pipa (1685 Argyle Street, 407-7472) is opening its atrium, formerly a storage area when the space was The Wooden Monkey. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a visit, a beautiful open space in the back of the place with an enormous, peaked glass ceiling. Details of the liquor licence are being worked out now, and they’re planning on bringing in a TV for the Cup, so expect tapas and drink specials to follow.
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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Thai food eatery opens

Thai Ivory Cuisine appears, adding a new star to Halifax's Thai restos

Posted By on Sat, Jun 5, 2010 at 4:00 AM

It’s been a number of different restaurants, including Persian eatery Parseh Shiraz, right next to the Stardust Motel on the Bedford Highway, but now it is Thai Ivory Cuisine (1067 Bedford Highway, 431-8424). It reportedly has a huge menu of Thai delicacies, which should thrill those in Bedford who’ve been craving those special Thai flavours until now only locally available on the peninsula. The hours are 10am to 9:30pm, seven days a week.
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In Print This Week

Vol 27, No 16
September 12, 2019

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