Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hot off the Press Gang

The Press Gang wants to treat your tastebuds to their last meal of the year

Posted By on Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 4:00 AM

Options for ringing in the new year are endless, but no matter how you’ve chosen to spend the last moments of the year, you’ll have to eat at some point, right? Many of the city’s hottest restos have prepared killer menus that’ll make your stomach grumble upon reading. The Press Gang (5128 Prince Street, 423-8816) knocks 2012 out of the park with serenades from the Mike Cowie Trio alongside a main dish selection of epic proportions : Atlantic beef tenderloin, confit duck leg, pan-roasted ostrich, seared halibut, Atlantic lobster or seared tofu---just TRY and choose one. And the appies and desserts continue on the path of impossible to pick from. Dinner runs from 5pm until 2am, call for reservations.

For a exhaustive list of other great things happening in town for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, check out our listings HERE.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Wine with Piatto

The downtown pizzeria pairs drinks and dishes with its wine tasting sessions

Posted By on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Wine and pizza, best friends.
  • Wine and pizza, best friends.

Piatto Pizzaria + Enoteca ( 5144 Morris Street) already knows that Italians do it better, hence its thin crusted true-to-Napoli pies. But what's pizza without wine? In Italy, an incomplete meal. Echoing this sentiment, Piatto is holding a post-holiday wine tasting session, which is an incredibly great deal. On Wednesday, January 9 a small group of keeners (read: you have to reserve your spot, 406-0909) will get together to let three great wines, paired with three great Piatto dishes, have a party in their mouthes. And just $34.99 gets you all of it, tips in. If you're not one of the lucky 20 to take part fear not, this isn't a one time deal. To keep tabs on Piatto's events head the resto's site and join its mailing list.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Bye-bye Applebee's

The Clayton Park chain calls it quits before Christmas

Posted By on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Lovers of Applebee's, get your final feast this week. - ELLICE FORD
  • Lovers of Applebee's, get your final feast this week.
  • Ellice Ford

Neighbourhood bar and grill Applebee's (278 Lacewood Drive) will close its doors for good this week. The family-friendly, chain resto nestled within the growing Clayton Park Shopping Centre will serve its last meals on Sunday, December 23. Applebee's general manager Curt Stephens says he is unaware of the reasoning behind the closure.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

jane's on the Gottingen

We know you're sad to say goodbye to jane's, but her to-go shop will live on

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 4:00 AM

Your days are numbered foodies, get a taste while you can. - MELISSA DUBÉ
  • Your days are numbered foodies, get a taste while you can.

Keep your eyes on 2053 Gottingen Street. It's officially home to a new location of jane's next door, the little sister and current next door neighbour of Jane Wright's jane's on the common, which will close up shop in mere weeks. The to-go coffee and snacks shop, which is pretty much identical to its predecessor on Robie Street, will eventually cohabit with a restaurant that Wright's daughter Jenna Mooers will open later in 2013. Along with getting this new spot up-and-running, Wright's busy with the crowds coming through, and people getting in touch, to say goodbye to the much-loved jane's on the common. "It's been a lovely time actually," she says. "Its been very affirming. A lot of people have written in lovely things." Jane's on the common and the Robie Street location of jane's next door will be closed as of new year's day.

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Eye'll miss you

Barrington Street vet resto Elephant's Eye says goodbye

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 4:00 AM


After gracing one of Barrington Street’s busiest blocks with its presence for 11 years, the Elephant’s Eye Restaurant (1727 Barrington Street, 420-1225) is saying goodbye. The news of the cozy cafe-that-could’s closure came earlier this fall, with rent costs at the root of the problem, but this Friday (December 14) will mark the quaint and quirky resto’s last breakfast and lunch. Looking back on Elephant’s Eye’s lively long haul, owners Daphne Hocquard and Brenda Critch couldn’t be more positive. “We have had a great clientele and would like to thank them,” says Hocquard of her over a decade-long run downtown. “The small business people on Barrington Street are a very special breed, they support each other and its been a pleasure to work there.” Despite the restos clear lasting power Hocquard says for now, there are no plans to re-open in another location and that they’ll use the opportunity to “take a breather”, which after 11 years they certainly deserve. “Never say never,” she adds.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Oland's bottle debacle

A shortage in bottle returns forces the Halifax brewery to order extras, and ask for your empties

Posted By on Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 4:47 PM

A wee dose of vitamin O.
  • A wee dose of vitamin O.

If there’s a hoarded pile of empty two-fours in your basement doing nothing but collecting dust and smelling like must, listen up: the Oland Brewery needs you. It’s not a complete crisis (“We’re not going to run out of beer,” assures Labatt Breweries of Canada’s Wade Keller) but the Oland bottle shortage is an interesting reminder of just how much the local brewery is recycling, and a great way of starting the cans versus bottles conversation. Yesterday, allNovaScotia and the Chronicle Herald reported that the folks at Oland were experiencing a major bottle shortage, to the point that they were asking suds-loving patrons to get their butts (and their empties) to the bottle depot, stat.

Keller says the brewery started noticing the shrinking reserve of bottles during the last month. While the holiday season is a reliably demanding time of year in the beer biz, such a shortage isn’t necessarily normal. You see, of the 10 million dozen bottles of beer to come out of the Agricola Street brewery annually, about 98 percent are returned from across the province and reused, on average, about 17 times. “Beer companies got in on the benefits of recycling early,” says Keller. “It’s obviously cost saving, which ultimately benefits the consumer.” All local brewers use the same, industry standard bottle so that no matter the label, they can be reused anywhere, and can borrow from each other if need be. In this case though, even Oland’s competitors couldn’t help it out, which is what forced an order of 11 truck loads of new bottles (each carrying up to 60,000 bottles each)—a foreign move for the brewery, especially at this time of year.

Sure, the hustle bustle of the holidays probably stops people from returning as frequently, and Keller points out that perhaps in preparation for entertaining shoppers are buying more than usual, but consuming it slower than they regularly would, but there’s another layer, too. “The other big factor for us is that the float of bottles is smaller than it used to be,” says Keller. “More consumers are choosing to buy cans, over the years we’ve not been buying as many bottles because of that.” He says in all likelihood the cans-over-bottles choice usually comes down to convenience: cans are lighter, smaller and easier to transport. But also, cans are shedding their bad rap. “At one time a stigma around cans,” says Keller. “Years ago you'd here people say they didn't like the taste out of the can. I’d challenge people to taste the difference now.”

After you’ve finished frantically drinking from, and returning all of the bottles from your Christmas stash (only to help out dear Oland, right?), riddle me this: do you care whether your beer comes from aluminum or glass?

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Say hello to Oliver's

A new spot for casual dining in Bedford

Posted on Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Try a pita pizza, at Oliver's
  • Try a pita pizza, at Oliver's

Sherry Smithers has certainly blazed a food-trail around the HRM. The original owner of Ducky's on the Waterfront, which she ran for 10 years before selling in 2007, and the brains behind Alderney Landing's Oliver's Deli has most recently given Bedford a taste of her long-loved cooking. In case you hadn't heard Oliver's Casual Dining opened up in the Howard Johnson Bluenose Inn & Suites last month, offering fresh, casual eats that give special attention to local products (like Sweet William's meats and Java Blend coffee).

To celebrate just over a month in business, Smithers and the crew at Oliver's are hosting an open house this Sunday, December 9 from 2 until 6pm and you're invited to stop by, say hi and see what you've been missing. Check out the resto's website here.

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Cheers to your beers, Garrison

Fifteen years of making beer calls for a toast, with a brand new brew

Posted By on Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 9:00 AM


It's been 15 years of great beers at Garrison. And to celebrate that, the Halifax brewery has added yet another rich brew to its resume. Today the 15th Anniversary Malt, Vanilla & Cocoa makes its way into the brewery and onto many a weekend shopping list. The perfect warming beer for the winter season, the celebratory dark suds meld sweet and bitter and pack a punch with a nine percent alc/vol. In a release Garrison's brewmaster Daniel Girard says, "We followed the concept of our spring 15 Hops brew, using 15 separate malts, two unmalted grains, bundles of vanilla beans and bags of raw cocoa husk." It'll pour jet black, with a thick, tan head. Oh boy. This is a premium stout, no doubt.

I'm guessing by now you're wondering where can you purchase a bottle or two of this liquid heaven? Get in line at the Garrison Brewery (1149 Marginal Road) or head to one of the city's private liquor stores, Premier Wine & Spirits (1535 Dresden Row), Harvest Wines and Spirits (757 Bedford Highway), Bishops Cellar (1477 Lower Water Street) and Cristall Wine Merchants (1595 Bedford Highway).

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's turkey time

Durty Nellys' celebratory buffet is coming at ya

Posted By on Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Avoid turkey tribulations by chowing down at Durty Nelly's.
  • Avoid turkey tribulations by chowing down at Durty Nelly's.

Oh come all ye hungry—Durty Nelly's Authentic Irish Pub is celebrating the few pre-Christmas weeks we have left by offering up a massive holiday buffet every Thursday and Friday. Fifteen dollars get you heaps of every frigging dish you could picture alongside your traditional (free range) turkey and honey-baked ham. Salad, potato salad, cucumber salad with roasted walnuts and apple honey yogurt, whipped yams, root veggies...PAN DRIPPINGS. Rather than make this entire post a list of things I wish I was eating, I'll let you know how to get in on the action. Send an email to or call 406-7640; they can fit up to 200 hungry holiday diners, if you're thinking along the lines of staff party, but you by no means need to be party of a crowd. This buffet would be a great cure for homesickness, and a surefire way to avoid making a big mess in the kitchen.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Benjamin Bridge takes it to the limited

The Nova Scotia winery releases rare, limited edition wines to members only

Posted By on Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 4:13 PM

BB's wine-master Jean-Benoit Deslauriers - SCOTT BLACKBURN

The hottest club in town is about to be the BB Club. That BB is Benjamin Bridge, easily the province's hottest new winery—the one responsible for the Brut Reserve and Nova 7, two wines that people lost (are losing) their minds over. Well, it's very likely minds will continue to be lost, as Benjamin Bridge announced today that they'll be releasing some of it's "small lots" and "micro-cuvées", otherwise known as ridiculously rare wines that have been doing their thing in the BB private cellar for up to 12 years. These bottles are so rare, in fact, that they can't even be commercially released, you won't be able to buy them anywhere. This is where the BB Club comes into play. The first 150 folks to subscribe to be part of the exclusive club will get their mitts on these limited edition wines, and rare wines yet to be released. The release goes on to say:

The BB Club will provide four selections of a 'wine trio' per year (September, December, March, June) including at least two small lot wines or micro-cuvées and access to a reserve inventory of NOVA 7 along with invitations to BB Club events at the winery and discounts on purchases. In lieu of shipping fees, BB Club "pick-up parties" at the winery will provide an opportunity to learn first hand about the wines from the winemakers and allow the winemakers to meet the winery's greatest supporters. BB Club's inaugural selection includes the Benjamin Bridge 2008 Sauvignon Blanc, the 2005 Méthode Classique Brut Nature and the 2011 NOVA 7 (now sold out across Nova Scotia) for $130 (plus tax and any shipping costs).

Join the BB Club by firing off an email to, dialing 542-1560 or, if you're already running down the street like a wine-crazy person, stop by the winery or it's stall at the Seaport Farmers Market.

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More Fruition

Those who like it raw, locally-made almond milk and delish meals are waiting for you

Posted By on Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Check it: Fruition's the only local almond milk supplier!
  • Check it: Fruition's the only local almond milk supplier!

If you haven’t noticed, the vegan-friendly foodies at Fruition (Seaport Farmer’s Market) have gotten a market stall-makeover. Thanks to an upgrade that took them from a five-foot table to a top-floor, harbour-view nook, Jessie Doyle and Seth Graham have been able to expand on their already established menu of raw eats. Known for tasty snacks like Kale Krisps, Fruiton is now hitting you with fresh almond milk (!!!) and fresh, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free meals like pad thai and garden burgers. Stop by the new digs and say hey Friday through Sunday—find Fruition next to Java Blend and Bramoso.

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Vol 27, No 17
September 19, 2019

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