Monday, June 19, 2017

Adieu Agora, hello Haligonian

New stuff on Agricola Street

Posted By on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 5:16 PM

After just under a year on Agricola Street, Agora Cafe & Grill Bistro (2394 Agricola Street)—the colourful little cafe, serving up a menu of Mediterranean cuisine, coffees and baked goods—closed its doors permanently yesterday. The cafe's owner Kubilay Gonul took to Facebook for parting words, and to share the news that a new business would be taking over the space.

The adorable little building and its tucked away backyard terrace will make way for The Haligonian Cafe & Bistro, which will open in the next few weeks. The soon-to-be cafe is currently running a survey to try and get feedback from the community, you can take it here.

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Friday, June 2, 2017

Tart & Soul is sweet on the south end

A new cafe and bakery opens on Coburg Road later this month

Posted By on Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 12:18 PM

An oreOMG in all its glory
  • An oreOMG in all its glory

Punny folks and cafe connoisseurs Saf Haq and Lisa Brow are whispering sweet nothings into south end ears this month. The pair—who worked together at Two If By Sea—are opening their own cafe and bakery, Tart & Soul Cafe at 6389 Coburg Road, where Springhouse (formerly Fruition) recently closed up shop, in mid-June.

“We both were seriously craving the need to create something to call our own and we were lucky that it happened for us almost simultaneously,” says Haq of the well-timed vacancy. “We have worked together a lot already so it’s nice to have your business partner also be someone who can kill it in the kitchen with you. Lisa actually trained me so she’s definitely the real deal. We have kind of been waiting for this moment since we met in baking school in 2014.”

The cleverly named cafe will be all about the baking, serving cookies (see the pictured oreOMG, a shortbread/cheesecake sandwich, for instance), scones, squares, bagels and plated desserts alongside Anchored Coffee and another local roaster, says Haq. Once things get rolling, you can expect Tart & Soul to serve lunch as well, and sell wholesale goodies.

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Monday, January 18, 2016

The Highwayman headed for Barrington Street

"I think Barrington Street is going to blow up so, again, it feels really good to be on the cusp of something."

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 4:00 AM

On a winter’s night when the wind is in the trees, as foretold a century ago, The Highwayman will come riding (riding, riding) into Halifax. For in early or mid-March—the official date is yet to be announced-—The Highwayman Restaurant will open at 1673 Barrington Street (the former Certainly Cinnamon location).

The Highwayman is a new restaurant venture from Adam MacLeod, Michael Hopper, and Field Guide owners Dan Vorstermans, and Ceilidh Sutherland. MacLeod is head bartender at Field Guide, and Hopper tended bar at La Frasca. The name is inspired by the Alfred Noyes poem, which was first published 100 years ago this August. “It’s a really, really beautiful poem,” says Sutherland. “We’ve been using the imagery as reference for a lot in the design elements on the restaurant. It’s kind of dark and moody, there are lots of textural references and weather references. It’s been a really neat way to be inspired; I’ve never really experienced this before.”

The 40-seat restaurant will have a large food menu with some sharing components along with a traditional menu of appetizers and main courses. “There will be some Spanish inspiration,” says Sutherland, “But other than that, we don’t want to give away too much in terms of what we’re doing with the food. We are going to have a late night menu, though. Stillwell is across the street; we won’t be competing with them, though; we’ll be a companion.”

While Vorstermans will be doing double duty heading up the kitchen at both restaurants, there will, of course, be a beverage program by Hopper and MacLeod as well as a similar devotion to quality front-of-house and back-of-house staffing, you shouldn’t expect a carbon copy of Field Guide. “We already have a great place with a 16 drink cocktail menu, so we don’t really think we need to do that again,” says Sutherland. “This menu will be focused on other spirits, like Sherry and Amaro. And we want to focus on people having a more expansive experience of coming in and ordering a cocktail, having food, drinking wine.”

The foursome has been working on the restaurant for the past few months, and construction is still underway. “It’s a really cool space, a really old building with a lot of really cool components. We’re all really excited about,” says Sutherland. They are also excited to have a space downtown. “I feel like it’s the right time. I think Barrington Street is going to blow up so, again, it feels really good to be on the cusp of something.

“I know that right now in that neighoburhood there are a lot of issues for businesses because of the convention centre being built. My hope always is that opening a new business can only help those other places,” Sutherland says, citing Field Guide’s relationship to EDNA.

“It’s such a good relationship, a good back and forth: you can borrow stuff from each other, our staff is constantly over there eating and drinking and their staff is constantly over here eating and drinking. It creates this culture that’s really important. And hopefully we will see that happen on Barrington Street: people eating at Highwayman and drinking at Stillwell. I hope that’s what will happen. And there are whisperings of other places opening on Barrington Street, so hopefully that’s just going to get better and better.”

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pumped about pumpkins

La Frasca coming at ya with seasonal specials

Posted By on Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 4:00 AM

Sad truth: most of us will never get the chance to experience the Italian fall-time tradition of Sagra Della Zucca e Vini (Pumpkin and Wine Festival) in Italy. (Wait, what?)

Sorry to burst that bubble, but thanks to the tastemakers at La Frasca Cibi & Vini (5650 Spring Garden Road)—who dish out Friulano tradition weekly— we can get as close as possible to the real thing.

The Bertossi Group resto has been its own Pumpkin and Wine Festival with a carefully crafted menu full of pumpkin-inspired eats (like acorn, buttercup and white pumpkin soups, butternut squash risotto, lamb chops crusted with pumpkin seeds, soft pumpkin polenta...I could go on) wine specials, Friulano grappas and a company wide pumpkin carving contest to feast your eyes on.

Get over your pumpkin spice lattes, there are much more creative flavours to be had here. This fest runs through until October 31.

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In Print This Week

Vol 27, No 4
June 20, 2019

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