Thursday, July 26, 2018

Katch Seafood opens on Pizza Corner

Late night fish and chips anyone?

Posted By on Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 11:04 AM

  • Danielle McCreadie
Downtown Halifax’s infamous Pizza Corner is reeling in a new clientele.

Katch Seafood, a fast-casual twist on the traditional fish and chips, is opening under the same roof as Pizza Girls (1560 Grafton Street). The new brand will have six different kinds of batters, as well as fish tacos and salads.

Business partner Connor Stoilov is excited to showcase the new brand.

“Pizza corner is our flagship location and we've spent a lot of the last few months getting this ramped up and ready to launch, so we're definitely really excited,” he says.

The company opened its first co-branded location in Tantallon in February 2017 and is excited to start rolling it out across the province. It also hopes to franchise the brand across Canada in the future.

“Putting them together down in Tantallon, we've seen a lot of grandparents and parents bringing their kids down, and the kids love the pizza and the adults love the seafood, so it works really well,” says Stoilov.

“What we think is really unique is there's never been any late-night places for fish and chips. It’s something that’s missing downtown,” he says.

The new location will be open until 5am, so you'll be able to get fish and chips after your night out.

Katch also has a location on the waterfront, and will be launching locations in the Halifax Shopping Centre, Scotia Square and in downtown Moncton later this summer.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Obladee’s thirst for knowledge

Want to learn about wine from certified experts? Class is in session with sommeliers Erin Beazley and Heather Rankin.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 5:34 PM

Introduction to Wine
Tuesdays July 31- August 28
Obladee, A Wine Bar, 1600 Barrington Street or $285

For its population, Halifax graduates an impressive number of sommeliers. Nova Scotia is also a very young wine region and most local drinkers of wine are new to the beverage. Starting at the end of this month, a course in Halifax will bring those worlds closer together, giving people the opportunity to learn the basics of wine and ask all the questions that neither Google nor Robert Parker seem willing to answer.

"I'm really interested in helping people navigate the wine world on their own, instead of relying on 'experts,'" says Heather Rankin, owner of Obladee. As one of the co-creators of the course, Rankin designed it "for real world application, for people who are really interested in wine and will be drinking it themselves and serving it to friends and family."

The five-week introduction to wine course starts July 31, and runs every Tuesday night 6-8pm at Obladee. Classes will be capped at 12 students, the "magic number" for wine education group dynamics, says Rankin, who regularly hosts wine appreciation nights at the downtown Halifax wine bar.

Wine education is not new to our region; Sommelier certification began in Nova Scotia in 2000 when Adam Dial, son of Roger Dial, widely held to be the father of Nova Scotia wine, taught the first course at Mount Saint Vincent University. That year, Dial's graduates earned the top two marks in Canada on national exams.

Sommelier certification today is offered through the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers-Atlantic Chapter. The courses, taught by Mark DeWolf, Carman Mills, Simon Rafuse and Alanna Steele, are rigorous and rewarding. They generally take two years to complete and cost just under $4,000, clearly aimed at those who seek a profession in wine stewardship.

A recent graduate, Erin Beazley, is the co-creator of Obladee's wine course, which complements the region's formal accreditation in that it extends wine education to people for less investment. Beazley will be leading the first series of classes, using a manual she designed with Rankin, who is particularly keen to teach the economics around wine.

"I think it confuses a lot of people, they think still that the best wines are from France and the best wines are expensive," she says.

Obladee's course, intended to be fun and inspiring, will also give students a comprehensive sense of wine from people who are deeply knowledgable.

"You need the foundation to understand things on a basic level. It's difficult to glaze over such a complex topic, so you have to go there a little bit," says Rankin. "This course is professional, and comprehensive, and it's also very practical and inclusive, and current. We're in it, we know what's going on and we're passing that on in real time."

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

DRINK THIS: Chain Yard's Drunken Cherry cider

An earthy, aromatic and rum-infused new release

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2018 at 4:37 AM

  • lenny mullins

Jay Hildybrant
isn’t afraid to play around with ingredients, but the head cidermaker at Chain Yard Urban Cidery never wants to bury the best parts of cider under too much sugar.

“For the longest time there’s been a stigmatic idea cider needs to be sweet and needs to taste like apples. To me, it’s time we change that perception. We want to create a wine-like product,” he says. “My passion is definitely with cider but we always try to use winemaking techniques. It’s very much like saying wine has to taste like grapes, it doesn’t make much sense.”

It’s his storied background in (and contagious passion for) cider that keeps the taps at Chain Yard so carefully considered, meticulously crafted—and full of creative ferments like the latest Drunken Cherry. Made with cherry wine and aged with Compass Distillers’ rhumb (spelled funny, but it’s an un-aged white rum), Hildybrant calls this 9.4 percent drink robust and earthy, with a hint of sour cherry, too.

“We do something that’s fairly unique here at Chain Yard. Whenever we get in a fruit juice, we actually create a wine from that. It pulls out interesting flavours and aromatics. So we’ll ferment the cherry and get notes like cinnamon and nutmeg and really interesting nuances,” he says of the blend which he anticipated
would ring in at around 8.5 percent ABV. “The cherry went farther than we thought and hit 9.4 percent but I didn’t want to stop it because there were really unique notes coming out.”

You can taste all those nuances for yourself at Chain Yard (2606 Agricola Street) this weekend, Drunken Cherry is pouring now.
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Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Exchange has big plans for Hollis Street

The folks behind the St. John's Fish Exchange are bringing something massive to town

Posted By on Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 4:32 PM

  • via FAcebook

“Halifax is on fire right now,” says Andrew Flynn, the GM of The Maple’s soon-to-be in-house restaurant, The Exchange on Hollis (1583 Hollis Street). A spin-off of popular Newfoundland spot St. John’s Fish Exchange, the Halifax take on the concept will offer a “premium casual” space that’s seafood forward and aimed at satisfying a cross-section of demographics.

The 300-seater restaurant plans to open sometime next month—hopefully with enough time left for folks to enjoy the 2,000 square foot seater patio—offering up a private room, a massive bar and laser-sharp focus on experience. “It’s in the centre of that old downtown, that waterfront business area. We’re going back to mercantile cuisine, following trade routes,” teases Flynn of Caribbean Italian, Spanish influences on the large menu. “Like, you’ll have lobster but rather than a generic lobster, there’ll be a Caribbean rum butter.” He also promises craft cocktails and beer, Tidal Bay on tap and an eight-seater champagne and oyster bar.
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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Cafe Lara is moving in on the corner of Agricola and Woodill

Soon that empty old laundromat is finally not going to be an empty old laundromat anymore

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 3:27 PM

Lara Cusson and Ruthy Shvalbe want to have a coffee with you - IAN SELIG
  • Lara Cusson and Ruthy Shvalbe want to have a coffee with you
  • ian selig
At long last the dilapidated laundromat on the corner of Agricola and Woodill Streets is being picked up, dusted off and reimagined. Later this summer Cafe Lara will come to life in a renovated version of the 2347 Agricola Street building, aiming to be a neighbourhood space that’s comfortable, inviting and a celebration of the social side of coffee culture.

“I think everyone has a story of the first coffee shop they started going regularly,” says Lara Cusson—the cafe’s owner and namesake, who’ll be working alongside manager Ruthy Shvalbe to open it. “I remember the first coffee shop I liked going to was in 2005 and it really became my home away from home, and luckily I chose a place with the best coffee.”

A Montrealer who’s made Halifax her home, she has worked in the food and drink industry since falling in love with that first cafe. And now she’s fallen in love with Halifax, in particular, the north end.

“I really like the idea of bringing people together, and community, and I think coffee is a great way of doing that,” she says of her project. “I think it’s something that appeals to everyone and people from all walks of life.”

Since deciding she wants to leave her mark on the local small business community, Cusson has spent time researching coffee shops of all types, scoping out as many as possible in other cities she visits. Cafe Lara will focus on serving top-notch java drinks, a well-curated menu of food (that’ll also be convenient for grab and go customers), LF Bakery pastries and providing a space that’s a lot of different things to the different people who stop by.

“I want to create seating for every type of person that might come in—a young mother with a stroller, a bar area for people looking for a few drinks, space for students who might want to study,” says Cusson. “I’m trying to keep the type of customer and what their needs might be in mind.” 
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In Print This Week

Vol 27, No 17
September 19, 2019

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