Thursday, December 26, 2013

In like Lion & Bright

The north end's newest cafe/wine bar hybrid

Posted By on Thu, Dec 26, 2013 at 12:00 PM

“It’s all about collaboration. It takes two, at least, to make things happen.” Local Source‘s Sean Gallagher is talking about his newest addition to the north end, a project he’s been brainstorming for about two years.

Named for the pairs of oxen that would traditionally help clear land and plough soil to make farming in this province easier, the hybrid Lion & Bright Cafe Wine Bar (2534 Agricola Street) will exude a Local Source-inspired spirit, keeping eats and drinks influenced by the season and “telling the story of where the the food came from,” he says. By day, Bright will crank out North Mountain Coffee and offer affordable lunches and a cool place to hang, but at night the Lion comes out, serving Nova Scotia craft beer on tap, local eats served via bar service (from deconstructed canapes, to roasted free range chicken, to cheesecakes) cocktails and a thoughtfully selected chalkboard wine menu.

"My background before coming to Nova Scotia I was in wine," says Gallagher. "I've done food for eight years, now I can come back full circle."

He says Lion & Bright, while locally-influenced to the core also takes inspiration from European cafe culture as well as his favourite spots in Montreal. “We got out of the way of the room and let it pop,” he says teasing with mentions of exposed brick, high ceilings, a 44-foot park bench and “remarkable” bathrooms. You can get a taste of both Lion and Bright in early 2014, follow its Facebook page for opening dates and updates.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Crowbar flies

Crowbar Real Foods retires its original bar and focuses on fudge

Posted By on Thu, Dec 19, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Last train to yum town
  • Last train to yum town

“While it may seem like an unorthodox decision to phase out our flagship product, it wasn't a decision that I made lightly or without a lot of thought,” says Breighan Hunsley, the brains and hands behind Crowbar Real Foods about discontinuing it’s namesake Crowbar.

Hunsley says while the artisan energy bars—which are made with homemade granola, hand weighed and molded—are wildly successful, they’re also labour intensive. “Most people in my position would attempt to scale up but I’m already selling as much as I can feasibly make. Without my own commercial kitchen, I can’t meet the needs of wholesale customers or retail partners. In order to keep moving forward, I would have needed to make them smaller, charge more for them, or stop using local or organic ingredients—and I wasn't willing to compromise my flagship product.”

Crowbar will still sells its Ravenous bars, its HOWL energy elixir powder and will focus in on Avocado Fudge (check out the Kahlua flavour this week). You can hunt down the remaining Crowbars at Organic Earth Market (6487 Quinpool Road), World Tea House (1592 Argyle Street), Pete’s (1515 Dresden Row) and on Saturday at Hunsley’s Seaport Farmers’ Market table.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Efendy fires up

A Turkish and Mediterranean Grill to open on Dresden Row

Posted By on Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Coming soon to a belly near you
  • Coming soon to a belly near you

“We did everything ourselves, from the sign out there to everything in here,” says Altin Begolli of the renovation that’s transformed the longtime space of the former Fid Resto into Efendy Turkish and Mediterranean Grill (1569 Dresden Row).

After 10 years of working in restaurants in Halifax and dreaming of opening his own spot, and six months of seeking a location, he and business partner Ali Simsek—a Turkish chef who’s cooked in kitchens from Cafe Istanbul and Kebab Kitchen to Wolfville’s Troy— are just about ready to debut downtown’s newest eatery.

With nothing frozen or fried, everything made from scratch and a strong focus on local, Efendy’s main attraction will be its charcoal grill which will cook up basically the entire menu, from skewers of lamb, chicken and fish (all local!), to veggie options. And thanks to an open-style kitchen, you get a front row seat to all the action.

Begolli says his goal is to serve healthy, affordable food in a warm, friendly place. “Most people like simple things,” adds Simsek. “They like something that’s comfortable, tasty food, a price that is reasonable...that's it.”

The pair plan to have Efendy open for lunch and dinner before Christmas.

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Vol 27, No 17
September 19, 2019

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