Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tomavino's temporary move

A short term move makes room for a brand new building

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 2:53 PM

Chowder time at Tomavino's - LENNY MULLINS
  • Chowder time at Tomavino's
  • Lenny Mullins

Attention nostalgics, this is your last week to enjoy a pie at Tomavino Ristorante's intimate digs at 5173 South Street; the longtime south end staple is moving—temporarily, don't panic—to make way for big changes to the corner of South and Hollis.

While the Fares-built seven-storey residential/commercial building goes up (an estimated one-and-half to two years) Tom Vacon's Italian hideaway will set up shop at 5190 Blowers Street (the corner of Granville), operating as a take-out/ delivery restaurant only. So, you can still call Tomavino's up and get your favourite dish to your doorstep. Tom's will be returning to its South Street home once the construction has wrapped, promising a big patio and the same romantic atmosphere. "It’s our home, we like that spot a lot," says Vacon, on why the move is a temporary one only. "And until then, we'll be continuing with our great product."

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Farewell to Fiasco

The downtown restaurant signs off this Friday

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 10:58 AM


After nearly 15 years on Brenton Street, and a year under new ownership, Fiasco Restaurant (1463 Brenton Street) will close its doors permanently as of this Friday, June 26. Co-owners—and also the restaurant's chef and pastry chef —Morné Van Antwerp and Sue Ann Lambert extend thanks to their suppliers and customers for their support over the last year.

"When we took Fiasco over, it was kind of somebody else’s dream," says Lambert. "It was a learning opportunity, a way to get to know suppliers and scope out what the market was here, and experiment with where we wanted our menu to go." Sounds like this might not be the last we've heard of this pair. (Check this out for a teaser.)

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Heeeere's Johnny K's

Johnny K's Authentic Donairs is coming to Grafton and Blowers

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 3:22 PM

click image 11403356_814174125327674_7211604044763616020_n.jpg

When paper went up in the windows of European Food Shop (5246 Blowers Street) back in April, people prematurely mourned the death of our greasy friend Pizza Corner. Change is hard, it's true, but we've said it before, pizza is forever.

Just when everyone was busy losing their shit over the end of an era—@NBDHFX appeared, letting the people know via hashtag that Pizza Corner Is Not Dead. The new resident of Grafton and Blowers urged hungry drunk-food hunters (as well as the sober daytime ones) to "stay hungry" because "an iconic corner deserves a legendary dish".

That legendary dish is the donair, of course, and earlier this week it was revealed that NBD would actually be Johnny K's Authentic Donairs, a joint effort between Mezza Lebanese Restaurant Group's Nahas family and Marcel Khoury, of HFX Sports Bar and Halifax Alehouse fame. The eatery's namesake Johnny K is John Kamoulakos, the building's owner and supposed donair inventor. In short, these donairs will be the real deal.

Johnny K's is set to open in July, bringing traditional handmade beef, chicken and vegetarian donairs —as well as Greek gyros and Turkish doner kebabs—to diners eating in and taking out. As you await a taste, follow the progress at @Johnnyksdonair

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Get a taste of Sicily with Devour!'s Dinner & A Movie

Cinema Paradiso and a Sicilian feast in Certainly Cinnamon's kitchen

Posted By on Mon, Jun 8, 2015 at 4:49 PM

Allow Alfredo and Salvatore to melt your heart
  • Allow Alfredo and Salvatore to melt your heart

Devour! The Food Film Festival has really good taste. The annual celebration of great food, great films and great food films takes place every fall in Wolfville (and every spring in the Bahamas) but hosts creative screenings, meals and events throughout the year to keeps mouthes watering. Its latest love letter to great cinema takes place this Thursday via Dinner & A Movie, which will feature Cinema Paradiso—1988's love letter to Sicily—and a decadent, communal Sicilian feast.

After the success of last year's event, built around a screening of The Big Lebowski, festival co-founders Lia Rinaldo and chef Michael Howell have continued to look outside of the food-film box when it comes to finding menu and event ideas.

"It opens everything up, we're able to choose our old favourites of all time," says Rinaldo, of not only their nostalgic choice for this event, but upcoming ones as well. (Exciting hint: watch for some vineyard screenings coming soon!) This particular Dinner & A Movie night will take place in Certainly Cinnamon's brand new industrial kitchen on Barrington Street. Forget open concept dining, Thursday's intimate dinner (and movie screen) will be right in the kitchen, hosting a maximum of 50 people.

"[Cinema Paradiso] lends us lots of inspiration because it’s such a beautiful Italian film," adds Howell, who's no stranger to Italian cuisine as a host of many Italian culinary tours with Tempestuos Culinary. This time, though, he's had the pleasure of teaming up with Certainly Cinnamon's Scott Colwell to build an incredible six-course menu of what he calls "la cucina povera", or the poor man's cusine, inspired by the film. "They're relatively rustic dishes, we're riffing on the peasants' food, and southern Italian food."

The meal will of course be paired with all Italian wines, courtesy of Bishop's Cellar, as well as a little Benjamin Bridge for some good (and local) measure. Dinner & A Movie will be a jovial night of eating, socializing and movie watching."It'll be an immersive experience of eating, drinking and watching," says Howell of the event. "And that's what Devour! is about at its core."

Watch this adorable clip from Cinema Paradiso, assess this menu, and then assess your plans for Thursday. If you're so inclined, get your tickets here.

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

EAT THIS: Made With Local's Loaded Oats

Instant oats that swap out the artificial flavours for Maritime ingredients

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 4:00 AM


It’s time to break up with the Quaker. Fans of his one-minute oatmeal packets should direct their attention, and their kettle, to Made with Local’s Loaded Oats—they’ve got the same convenience factor going for them (you can make them by stovetop, microwave, or with boiling water), but we can thank east coast ingredients for the flavour. The 10-serving bags are available in two flavours—Bumbleberry, with Lunenburg dried cranberries and Valley flax, and Apple Spice, with Nova Scotian apples. You can local-ify your breakfasts at Pete’s (1515 Dresden Row), Local Source Market (2530 Agricola Street), Noggins Corner at the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market (2 Ochterloney Street) and The Shelf at the Seaport Farmers’ Market (1209 Marginal Road), they all carry Made With Local.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Nectar is closing, but North Brewing and Brooklyn Warehouse are moving in

Bittersweet news brings craft beer and award-winning eats to downtown Dartmouth

Posted By on Wed, Jun 3, 2015 at 11:17 AM

Get a final glimpse of Nectar's Dining Room this month
  • Get a final glimpse of Nectar's Dining Room this month

After six years of bringing great meals, cocktails and jazz to downtown Dartmouth, Nectar Restaurant & Wine Bar (62 Ochterloney Street) announced this morning that it would serve its last customers on Sunday, June 21. The doors won't be closed for too long, though—the restaurant has been sold and the unnamed new owners will reveal their plans "in coming days" to North Brewing Company and Brooklyn Warehouse, one hell of a food and drink dynamic duo. This tasty collaboration between Peter Burbridge, and George and Leo Christakos will bring "a beer-centric eatery" and some surprises to Ochterloney Street. "We are very excited in becoming a part of the ever-growing downtown Dartmouth community and food scene," they say, via email.

Nectar's Joelle and Ian Hurst—who took over the five-time Best of Halifax award-winning restaurant in 2012—said in this morning's release that they'll "miss the daily interaction with the members of Nectar's extended family, and our fellow downtown Dartmouth entrepreneurs. This has been a wonderful experience."

From Monday, June 8 through its closing date, Nectar will serve brunch (Saturdays and Sundays) and dinner, and will also host a weekend jazz series during its final weekend (June 19-21).

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Monday, June 1, 2015

Tom's and The Fireside are headed for Birmingham Street

All of your Halifax bar nostalgia in one place

Posted By on Mon, Jun 1, 2015 at 4:41 PM

Tom's Little Havana has set the bar as a primo watering hole - PHOTO BY SAMSON LEARN
  • Tom's Little Havana has set the bar as a primo watering hole
  • photo by Samson Learn

Regulars of both Tom's Little Havana (5428 Doyle Street) and The Fireside (1500 Brunswick Street) have been losing sleep lately knowing that both bars would be uprooted come this fall. After years of rumours, the construction of a new development on the Spring Garden/Queen/Doyle/Brunswick block is finally coming to fruition, meaning all of its businesses will be closing or moving—and the thought of a downtown Halifax without a Tom's or a Fireside was a frightening one for many. After fending off an endless stream of "what's going to happen"s from patrons, today co-owner of both bars Lynne Ferguson was delighted to announce they're moving together, just a block away, to the Birmingham Street entrance of City Centre Atlantic. (That's 1535 Dresden Row, but think Premier Wine and Spirits' former location.)

Ferguson says it won't have that "mall entrance" feeling anymore, though. "When you walk into those doors, it’ll be more Tom's," she says. "You'll be walking into Tom's, and The Fireside will be on the right, in the old Premier location." The two bars will share a kitchen and washrooms, but be separate from each other, Tom's will take over the current Top Cuts space and the salon will move to another spot within the mall. "They were terrific about the move because Tom’s was going to be there," Ferguson laughs.

In early May, Tom's put out an online survey looking for the public's thoughts on a new location and the Spring Garden area was a winner over both Barrington Street and the north end. "We just have a ton of regulars and they drive us. On snow days and Sundays they just keep coming," says Ferguson of why patrons got a say on the new spot. "It was important for it to be close by. We’re creatures of habit. I think it was also important to continue being just a little out of the way, off to the side of the main street."

The next generation of Tom's and The Fireside is scheduled to open for October 1. In response to the major public concern—how the heck will they transport the dark, intimate and nostalgic Tom's vibe elsewhere??—Ferguson says a little wallpaper, wood panelling and tablecloths can go a long way. "I hate to say it but I think it’s going to be easy. It’s really the people that make the vibe at Tom's," she says. "It's a little bit the look, but mostly the people. It’ll be fun to see the new Tom's and cry about the old Tom's together"

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Vol 27, No 16
September 12, 2019

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