Friday, May 30, 2014

Ray's Lebanese is back

Your favourite falafel found a home in Dartmouth

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2014 at 4:00 AM


Ray’s Lebanese Cuisine may be gone from the Scotia Square lunchscape but it’s certainly not forgotten. And falafel lovers who follow its owner Ray Khattar on Twitter may have seen that he quietly announced Ray’s renaissance—it’ll re-open at 75 Akerley Boulevard, Suite 101. Burnside lunch crowd, you’re the envy of many.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Scanway's coming at ya, Grafton Street

Back with beautiful cakes and sandwiches, Italian gelato, booze and a freaking AWESOME patio

Posted By on Wed, May 28, 2014 at 6:41 PM


You miss pressing your face against Scanway Catering & Pastry’s Quinpool Road storefront to get a closer look, don’t you? This summer marks the return of Scanway to the food and retail scenes, it’ll be taking over 1567 Grafton Street right next door to its new sibling the Stubborn Goat Gastropub (1579 Grafton Street). “I’m looking to limit my travel time,” laughs Geir Simensen, executive chef at the Goat, and co-owner of Scanway. He’s currently working with new business partner and familiar Halifax face Ray Bear to turn the former Halifax Bead & Metal Clay into not just a destination for amazing cakes and pastries for your parties and cravings, but also a cafe.

“The Goat has gone very well for us here, and we’re excited to add a different component to the street.” The new Scanway, set to be ready for visitors in a month’s time, will have room for 20 people to sit in and enjoy sweets and coffee or a sandwich and a glass of wine, but is also going to be a key player in the patio game. It’ll take over a sunseeker’s prime spot, Bikram Yoga's patio (above Sicilian Pizza), and while the menus are still being sorted Siemensen says he’s got his hands on a big Italian gelato machine. Imagine that with fresh blueberries! “Ray and I have so much enthusiasm for this it’s hard to nail it down,” he says of what to expect from the menu, but teases of delights like salmon pastrami on homemade crusty bread and fresh-baked doughnuts.

Looks like there’ll be many more reasons to gawk at this spot than beautiful cake.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Coming soon: Krave Burger

Spring Garden Road has a new restaurant coming soon

Posted By on Thu, May 15, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Burgers burgers burgers burgers
  • Burgers burgers burgers burgers

Where Onyx (1580 Argyle Street) once was, Krave Burger will be. The new addition to Burgertown—coming soon to 5680 Spring Garden Road — is still tight-lipped on the finer details of its menu and plans for the resto, but its GM Matt MacIsaac says “it’ll leave you wanting more.” Do go on, we say.

MacIsaac, who’s spent 10 years in the food business, training under chefs in both Nova Scotia and Alberta, has been time travelling and eating and planning for what’s to come at Krave, an idea his was first approached about last summer. He’s currently working on developing the menu—for now all we know is that it’ll include burgers and fresh, local ingredients—and turning the old Onyx into something new and fun.

“I don’t think we could have picked a better spot in the city,” says MacIsaac. Sink your teeth into the latest from the resto at @kraveburger.

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Local Recipes Live: a staged reading by Greg Proops

Dude, it's PULAO.

Posted By on Thu, May 15, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Greg Proops, Coast-lover
  • Greg Proops, Coast-lover

The "Smartest Man in the World" AKA Greg Proops was at The Company House a couple of weeks ago for the Halifax Comedy Fest, running his mouth, making people laugh and recording his Proopcast. Perhaps you weren't there?

It turns out he's not only the Smartest Man he's also a Coast fan. Fancy that! It also turns out when he's lacking material he reads the local paper for the audience, line by line. Not that we're hating on Proops—he did praise us and scorn the Herald a wee bit, that was really nice. And he also made a great funny about the over use of the word Local—I hear you, brother.

Click here to hear the show, which features an audio version of our Food & Drink Local Recipes Guide, an excerpt from (and discussion about) Jean Ketterling's Voice of the City column and a bonus rendition of Elvis Costello's Alison (in honour of yours truly) at the end of the Proopcast.

My parents totally named me after that song! It's like you know me Greg!

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Looking for Layla?

Fresh seafood and Mediterranean eats hit Parkland Drive

Posted By on Thu, May 15, 2014 at 12:56 AM

Elie Sarkis and his brother Kamil Sarkis learned everything they know about food from their grandmother, the namesake for their new Clayton Park restaurant Layla Seafood and Mediterranean Cuisine (480 Parkland Drive, the same strip as Tako Sushi & Ramen).

After over 10 years of working in the food industry in Lebanon, the brothers bring “good customer service and good food”—made from scratch—to Halifax. Elie recommends you try the shawarma, because Layla’s boasts not just the standard chicken, but beef and fish (their grandmother’s specialty, and a rarity) varieties, too. Stop in for a snack from 11am-10pm daily.

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Friday, May 9, 2014

A new owner for Dharma Sushi

Ami Goto, a longtime Dharma employee takes the reins June 1

Posted By on Fri, May 9, 2014 at 2:12 PM

This calls for a party platter! - VIA FACEBOOK
  • This calls for a party platter!
  • via Facebook

Dharma Sushi (1576 Argyle Street), a Japanese cuisine and sushi institution in Halifax, is getting a new owner. Ami Goto, who works at Dharma as a server and cook, is taking over from Hideki Yamamoto, on June 1st. 

Dharma first opened its doors on Argyle Street in 1995. Yamamoto, also known as Hide-san to staff and fans, hired Goto back in 1998. Last year, Yamamoto announced to Goto that he was moving to British Columbia, and offered to sell the restaurant to Goto. “ I said no at first, I didn’t know if I wanted to work for myself,” says Goto.  “But I thought, if this is restaurant went to someone else, I would cry. I thought I am the only person who could do it, and I decided in November of least year to take it over.”

Although Goto knows her way around a Japanese kitchen—you’ll often find her on the line at Dharma cooking up tempura, teriyaki and more traditional homestyle Japanese foods—she wanted to make sure that Dharma’s sushi would not suffer when Hide-san left. “Hide-san started to teach me all kinds of things,” she says. “What to look for, how to cut, what fish people like, everything.” Over the past six months, Yamamoto has been teaching Goto how to properly cook and prepare the rice for sushi making, how to roll, and much more.

As for the food at Dharma, Goto plans on keeping the menu as it is for now, with one big caveat: she plans on creating a late night menu for the eatery. “Now, we close at 9:30, but I want to be open later, like most of the restaurants on Argyle,” she says. “I want to offer things that other places don’t have, like  bite sized tonkatsu [deep-fried breaded pork cutlets], okinomiyaki [a savoury pancake that’s name translates roughly to “what you like”] and yakitori.”

Goto is also hoping to bring in more liquor into the establishment, including shoju and umeshyu (japanese plum wine), but her real love is beer. “We want to bring in craft beer,” she says. One of Goto’s favourite things is to drink beer and snack, and she hopes that her late night menu and boozy beverages will be a hit with others as well.

In the meantime, Goto is preparing herself for her new business venture as well as her final goodbyes to Hide-san, her employer and friend of sixteen years. “It’s been super emotional since I am so sad he is leaving,” she says. “In the meantime I am learning as much as I can. I feel like this was meant to happen and I can do this.”

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Open City 3.0: Eight things I want to eat

Baby got back door eats

Posted By on Fri, May 9, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Tomorrow marks round three of I Love Local's annual Open City festivities and my god there's a lot of fun and flavour to choose from. People are making spread sheets to organize how in heaven's name they can see, taste, feel it all! It's intense, and very necessary. With a list of 143 happenings it'll be one hell of a day (check out the whole list here or Halifax ReTales' handy map here), but as always my mind is on the eating.

There are 47, count 'em, FORTY SEVEN back door deals to be devoured and they're all making my stomach do a dub step drop right about now. Honestly, if it were possible for me to try them all I would, but here are eight options that are really causing me to drool. Think of it this way, if you put in an eight-hour work day on Open City adventures, you can eat something every hour.

1-Giant Foggy Spud ($5) at The Foggy Goggle (1667 Argyle Street): Have you ever had the Foggy Spuds? They're sinful, man. For Open City the Goggle is making massive, singular spuds, stuffing a potato with bacon, corn, red onion and cheese. You had me at potato. Wash it down with a $5 Propeller pint. 12-7pm

2-Gnocci with Tomato Basil & Lemon Ricotta ($7) at Canvas Resto Lounge (1583 Brunswick Street): Again, you had me at potato. Gnocci is the best. Ricotta is wonderful. This sounds like it might make you want a nap, but think of it as carb loading for the rest of the day. 12-4pm and 5-10pm

3-Oulton's burger with Ran-Cher acres goat paneer, Sriracha slaw, bacon fat mayo ($5) at the Stubborn Goat Gastropub (1579 Grafton Street): BACON FAT MAYO? WHAT? 11:30am-3:30pm

4-Softserve ($1) at Mother's Pizza (5710 Young Street): 'Cause you're going to need to even out your over-stimulated palate with something sweet. Starts at 11:30am

5-The Big Pig ($5) at The Canteen (66 Ochterloney Street): The Feisty Chef knows her sammies. This one's shaved roasted pork loin, Oulton’s double smoked bacon, bread and butter pickles, roasted tomatoes and sprouts on a housemade ciabatta. Dear lord. Maybe walk across the bridge back to Hali to make some room for more after this. 10:30am–2pm

6-General Tso's Octopus ($10) at EDNA (2053 Gottingen Street) A favourite from EDNA's regular menu, it features pineapple, peanuts, scallions, tempura all snuggled up on some sticky rice. noon-8pm

7-Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuit Pulled Pork with Chorizo Bourbon BBQ Sauce ($5) at Chives Canadian Bistro (1537 Barrington Street): There've been a lot of pork products on this wish list, no? I guess if you're going to pig out hard, you might as well really pig out. Heyoooooooo.12-3pm

8-Ol' School Donuts at Atlantic News (5560 Morris Street): You were just wondering about dessert, weren't you? Noah Connolly's family biz makes a special appearance downtown. Buy yourself a mag inside and get 10 percent off your donut. 1-6pm

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