Thursday, June 28, 2012

99ONE cafe opens

Josh Teasdale adds flavour to Plan B

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 2:43 PM


Every time I visit Plan B merchant coop (2180 Gottingen Street, 802-0731) there are more people shopping, milling about or just plain hanging---today it was at least 15. And now comes 99ONE cafe ( 802-0512), which may just be the tipping point needed to make the entire coop successful.

99ONE is the brainchild of Josh Teasdale, who took business courses at NSCC in order to help him bring his dream of a cafe alive. His idea, for years, has been to run a place serving coffee and his kitchen creations---he makes paninis, salads and soups, among other dishes---along side other food products brought by cooks who wouldn't have the resources to run their own restaurant. In other words, a sort of mini-restaurant merchants' coop.

Teasdale was looking around for a place to open his cafe when he came across Plan B. "When I walked in, I immediately knew this is the place I'm supposed to be," he says. And now 99ONE is a reality--"a microcosm within a microcosm," he laughs.

The cafe is in the rear of Plan B, past the taxidermy and vinyl, and consists of about a dozen tables with chairs, with a small kitchen area. It's an extremely laid-back atmosphere, and evidently conducive to community. Teasdale opened only a few weeks ago, but he reports that he already has "devote regulars."

Besides his lunch fare, Teasdale serves Puddly Jump fair trade coffee roasted in Seaforth, and smoothies--he talks lyrically of a "chocolate almond five berry smoothie that is pretty damn great." There are very cubicles and shelves to rent to cooks to provide other foodstuffs, and already he's selling other people's muffins and raw food balls, with more on the way.

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Off the hook is back!

Sustainable seafood connects consumers directly to fishers.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 1:55 PM


Off the Hook, Nova Scotia's Community Supported Fishery, has announced its third season. Subscription fish deliveries begin next week, but fisher Beau Gillis is heading out this week for halibut, and will be bringing the catch to the Brewery Market this Saturday, june 30; place orders for fillets, steaks or whole halibut here.

Otherwise, the regular eight-week subscriptions start Saturday, July 7. I've subscribed before, and found that it was a bit much fish for my household, so split the subscription with a friend---I'd pick up the fish one week, he the next. But the Off the Hook folks have responded, and have made available a simple "share" that is one two-to-three pound fish a week, perfect for my needs, although larger subscriptions are still available. They're also making it extremely easy for us---besides whole fish, subscribers can get fillets or steaks. see all the details here.

I wrote about my original experience with Off the Hook here.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tomavino's Cellar Ristorante has reopened

Owner Tom Vacon bounces back from fire.

Posted By on Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Good news in the south end! After two-and-a-half years of enforced idleness, Tom Vacon, owner of Tomavino's Cellar Ristorante (5173 South Street, note new phone: 425-9111), calls to say he's open for business again. Readers will recall that in 2010 Tomavino's fell victim to a fire in the adjoining building, which also took out Thai Chin, Taj Mahal and Café Chianti, at least temporarily (all have since reopened elsewhere).

For now, says Vacon, Tomavino's is only offering take-out, while final touches are put on the restaurant space, and while he waits for a liquor licence to arrive. Vano expects to be open for sit-down service in about a month.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

B-Well is first with Ra-men

Japanese noodle dish is a big hit on Quinpool Road.

Posted By on Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 10:19 AM

The B-Well Sushi and Cafe (6184 Quinpool Road, 428-4019) is the first Halifax restaurant to serve Ramen "in earnest." B-Well owner and cook Masahiro Amemiya started offering the traditional noodle-based Japanese dish as an one-off daily special a few weeks ago, but the response was so overwhelmingly positive that it is now served every day. The soy sauce based ramen is the basic offering, but each day there is a different special: vegetarian, BBQ pork, chicken, seafood and so forth. Prices start at $8.95 for a huge bowl, and going up a couple of dollars depending on extras.
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tess to open backyard patio

Many small changes add up to big promise for north end eatery.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Liz Cunningham opened her north end restaurant under the name Chez Tess Creperie (5687 Charles Street, 406-3133) in 2009, but found that the name was scaring people off. First, she dropped the "Creperie" because "people though sweet or breakfast crepes, but we serve all sorts of dinner crepes--scallops, ham, chicken and a wonderful cordon bleu crepe---in the evening." She still serves crepes---"and always will!"--- but they've moved down the menu a bit under the heading "Tess' Classic Crepes," below entrees such as a haddock dinner, Louisiana grill and baked salmon, with two brand new dishes, a scallop pasta and jerk chicken.

Now, Cunningham is dropping the "Chez" and the restaurant is known simply as Tess. The new sign is going up today. "The 'chez' suggested a french restaurant," she says. "I'm an Irish kid from New York City." She's positioning the restaurant as a "friendly neighbourhood place, where people can stop for an after-work drink and appetizers," and so she has an appetizer menu of salads and cheese boards.

Coincidently, the name change comes just as Cunningham has received permission from the city to turn the back yard of the building into a patio for her business, with room for 40 people. She'll have a completely different menu for the patio, a more casual selection of barbecue, hot dogs and the like, as well as a second bar.

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La Trinidade is closed

Posted on Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 4:28 PM

La Trinidade & The Listening Room (5171 Salter Street, 422-6000) has abruptly gone out of business. No word yet as to why, or what will happen to the space.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dee Dee's expands

Ditta Kasdan triples customer area, hires uppity workers.

Posted By on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Everyone's favourite corner ice cream and burrito shop, Dee Dee's (5668 Cornwallis Street, 407-6614) just got a whole lot bigger. Owner Ditta Kasdan has rented the space next door to her formerly postage-stamp sized operation, blown out the wall, re-arranged the kitchen and about tripled the space for customers. She now has a church pew along the wall, and will be adding two fixed tables soon---possibly as soon as this afternoon.

And how cool is Dee Dee's? Consider that Kasdan's employees come to work wearing stuff like this:

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Anchored away

Two If By Sea looking to open downtown Dartmouth coffee roastery--and you can help.

Posted By on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 3:26 PM

The Business Development Bank of Canada is taking votes for the winner of its Young Entrepreneur Award, and in first place is Zane Kelsall, co-owner of Two If By Sea Cafe. Kelsall always wanted to create Anchored Coffee, a roastery specializing in direct-trade and high quality coffee. The grand prize grant of $100,000 would be the necessary starting push. “We feel like we’ve proven ourselves to the community. A roastery will further our control in the coffee quality,” says Kelsall. Opening Anchored Coffee in downtown Dartmouth will provide coffee roasted to customers tastes and allow transparency---customers will see where the coffee came from, who grew it and how much it cost. Kelsall will choose the coffee farmers himself by visiting their land, resulting in a long-term relationship and ethical prices. The roastery will have public space and a “coffee lab.” People can try exclusive coffee tastings, attend seminars and the room will be rentable for private events. “The grant would accelerate the process to get this going, but we are determined to make the roastery happen either way,” says Kelsall. If you want to help keep him at first place, vote via Voting ends June 19 and everyone can vote daily.
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Monday, June 11, 2012

Gluten-free at Saege

Summer menus are mostly Celiac-friendly

Posted on Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Saege Bistro (5883 Spring Garden Road, 429-1882) has a mostly gluten-free summer menu, with lunch options 85 percent gluten-free, and dinner 75 percent. Many of the dishes---salads and meat entrees---wouldn't have gluten in them in the first place, but Saege has taken the additional step of providing options for gluten-free pasta, pizza and breads, and all sandwiches can be made with gluten-free bread, proved by Scanway Pastry Shop. Saege is immensely affordable, with nearly all food items under $20.
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Friday, June 8, 2012

Trader's bar is closed

Posted on Fri, Jun 8, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Trader's Bar in the Barrington Delta has closed. The hotel is renovating the space, and it will reopen after the summer, with a new name.
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Venus eclipsed

Popular Barrington Street pizza joint gets a name change.

Posted By on Fri, Jun 8, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Venus Pizza (1558 Barrington Street, 425-8882), winner in The Coast's Best of Food Shawarma and late-night Lebanese dishes categories, has been re-branded as Mezza Lebanese Kitchen. The address, phone number, employee and menu remain the same, however.

This is part of a re-jigging of the Mezza operation. The Quinpool restaurant (6386 Quinpool Road, 444-3914) is now called Mezza Lebanese Restaurant, and a new menu, with lower prices, will soon be adopted.

And, the Mezza Lebanese Restaurant name will also be applied to a new location in Burnside (Unit 5 - 16 Garland Avenue, 429-2929), which should open in late July.

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Monday, June 4, 2012

White Sails Bakery & Deli retooling

Poutine and fries on the way.

Posted By on Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 1:17 PM


I don't get to Tantallon much, but next time I'm there I'll hunt out White Sails Bakery & Deli (12930 Peggy's Cove Road, 826-1966), which judging by its menu serves up some fine looking Montreal smoked meat and other deli staples.

Owner Carolyn Clarke writes to say that the menu is expanding, and that she'll close from June 4 through 4 to install grills and fryers; that means that afterwards she'll be serving poutine and fresh fries.

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Ace Burger Company to open

Pre-fast food burgers made with wholesome and local ingredients.

Posted By on Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Brooklyn Warehouse’s George Christakos - ANGELA GZOWSKI
The burger’s out of the take-out bag: Ace Burger Company will be opening right behind Gus’ Pub (2605 Agricola Street) on July 7. Leo and George Christakos, owners of Brooklyn Warehouse (2795 Windsor Street), have been planning for something like this since 2009, so they took the chance to test their dream burger joint at Open City. Lucky for Halifax, the feedback was great and that’s why we’ll be looking forward to this subversive burger joint.

The concept is simple: they’re making burgers simple and available for take out, but they’re using healthy and mainly local ingredients which they’ll be cooking with “the passion and level of talent” for a gourmet burger. Because as George Christakos points out, fast food doesn’t have to be “from a thousand cows that get blended together.”

“If you can’t get tomatoes [this time of the year], then what kind of condiment can you use to create something that’s delicious?” asks Christakos rhetorically. He says that fast food market has taken the burger and has turned it into something unhealthy and not real. Ace Burger Co. is taking the burger pre-fast food era with wholesome ingredients, like tomatoes, that may not be available all year. Not that their burgers would be lacking; you can still order the classic burger at the joint. He also hints they’ve been “playing around with some worldly flavours.” Does this mean we should expect Hoisin sauce in our burgers? We’ll find out this Canada Day.

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