Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Your 2014 Taste of Nova Scotia Prestige Awards winners

Congratulations, tastemakers

Posted By on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Winners Lia Rinaldo (left) and Michael Howell (right), with some guy
  • Winners Lia Rinaldo (left) and Michael Howell (right), with some guy

Yesterday, Taste of Nova Scotia celebrated our province's culinary industry and some of the people who make it so darn great with its annual Prestige Awards, which were presented during the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia’s tourism summit. Here are all the beautiful people and places who took home the hardware:

Innovative Product of the Year
Olde Port of Halifax, Tideview Cider (Annapolis Valley)

Restaurant of the Year – Chef Inspired Fine Dining
Fleur de Sel

Restaurant of the Year – Chef Inspired Casual Dining
Brooklyn Warehouse

Restaurant of the Year – Essence of Nova Scotia
Lobster Shack (Barrington Passage, NS)

Producer of the Year
Grand Pré Wines

Server of the Year
Cora Beck, Charlotte Lane

Consumer Choice Product of the Year
Bliss, Avondale Sky Winery

Gary MacDonald Culinary Ambassador of the Year
Lia Rinaldo & Michael Howell, Devour! The Food Film Fest — read more about Lia here, and Devour! here.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Obladee by Day debuts

Obladee, oblada, lunch is on

Posted By on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 1:00 AM

An Obladee salad almost too pretty to eat. Almost. - VIA FACEBOOK
  • An Obladee salad almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
  • via Facebook

The "it's five o'clock somewhere" sentiment rings true at Obladee (1600 Barrington Street) these days—you no longer have to count down the minutes until 4pm for the doors to open here. After four years in the game, the downtown wine bar decided it was time to make a change, and amping up its menu to include daytime eats was the first step.

"We both really love food, and we both really love simple food," says Obladee's Heather Rankin of she and her brother/co-owner Christian's drive to do lunch. "And simple food doesn't need to be boring. As long as you're using great ingredients you don't have to complicate it." Obladee by Day offers up light, fair-priced fare that's focussed on local and seasonal ingredients that you could pick up at the market—a selection of sandwiches, soups, salads and daily specials is now available from 11:30am-3pm Monday through Friday. While newly hired chef Yailen Munoz and Melissa Rankin will whip up the midday meals, Obladee's staff is also being trained by Java Blend's Jim Dikaios to perfect their espresso skills.

"There's a whole group of people who exist downtown during the day, and then leave when it gets dark to go home," says Rankin of Obladee's aim to not only offer its regular customers more, but appeal to the lunchtime crowd that's new to the bar as well. "We're servicing that middle ground between a grab-and-go lunch counter and a full sit down restaurant."

And though quick and easy is the goal, for folks on a too-short lunch break, the great wines and craft beers you'll find at Obladee by night flow when the sun's up too—so long lunches are very welcome. Encouraged, even.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Get 'em to the Greek Village

It's baaaaack

Posted By on Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 4:00 AM

Apparently Quinpool mainstay Greek Village (formerly 6253 Quinpool Road) has the whole catlike, nine lives thing going on. When it suddenly announced its closure, again, earlier this fall we wondered if it was (hoped it wasn’t) indeed a permanent thing. Though we haven’t been able to reach owner Stefanos Kalogeras, the restaurant posted to its Facebook page that it’ll be back in action mid-December, taking over the spot Sully’s Roast Beef & Smoked Meat once occupied at 2733 Agricola Street. A celebratory round of ouzo for all!
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Thursday, November 6, 2014

What's in a name: The Wooden Monkey

Getting the backstories behind your favourite restaurants’ names, an occasional series.

Posted By on Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 12:46 PM


Haligonians go ape-shit for the locally focused organic fare at The Wooden Monkey. While satisfied with its free-range, vegan- and gluten-friendly menu, the Curious George in you would probably like to know where this monkey business got its name.

Founder Lil MacPherson dreamed up the Wooden Monkey post-Hurricane Juan, when questioning the reliability of imported and GMO foods. Her vision remained un-christened until John Dalton of Big Life Whole Foods brought in a horoscope for the upcoming Chinese New Year, heralding 2004 as the year of the green wood monkey. It said, “this is the year to go after something big,” says MacPherson. “And if you decide to say yes, hang on.” This particular wooden chimp is resourceful, agile and smart with money, making the best of every opportunity.

“When I read it I thought, we are The Wooden Monkey.” Two weeks later she signed a five- year lease. “It seemed like the monkey helped us pull it off,” says MacPherson. “How it was described was how it happened.” It did take more than a lucky baboon. “You had to step out. You had to have monkey balls.”

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