For a steak and chop house, Bedford Prime's menu has a wide variety of fish, and the first time I eat here, just a few weeks after opening, the seafood dishes are wonderful but the meat is not so great. Giving the place time to mature, like good beef, I return a couple of months later. Over several visits and a range of dishes, the only true disappointment is the jumbo shrimp cocktail ($10): The shrimp are devoid of flavour, and the mango sauce is almost as dull. There are no such disappointments in the entrees. Beef tenderloin ($3.50/oz) is cooked just right and sports beautiful grill marks. Salmon ($18) is also handled deftly. I question the wine list—please make room for more than the single local vintage—but overall, with the arrival of Bedford Prime, a niche has been nicely filled in the Bedford dining scene.
Bedford Prime Steak and Chop House, 1067 Bedford Highway, 831-5259, full review here.
Although lacking the tourist cachet of the South Shore, the Eastern Shore has a charm all of its own. A trip along the picturesque Marine Drive leads a hungry traveller to the Salmon River—just past Head of Jeddore—and the Lobster Shack Restaurant. The dining room is lively and colourful—a showcase for local folk art—and the menu is seafood-centric. Mussels ($9) have an unusual presentation: Dubbed "muscargots" on the menu, they are prepared as if they were snails, in garlic butter with too much melted cheese. For main courses, we have a lobster crepe ($17) and surf and turf ($24). The crepe is the star of the evening, toothsome and nutty flavoured, and the sauce is a delicate herbed cream. The surf and turf, with striploin steak and lobster tail, is almost as good.
Lobster Shack Restaurant at the Salmon River House Inn, 1-800-565-3353, full review here.
This new Lebanese restaurant on Quinpool is beautiful. From the incredible carved ceiling to the intricate tile in the entrance, everything here says attention to detail and class. True to Mezza's name, the menu is composed of mezza—small plates made for sharing, ideal for sampling many things at a meal instead of committing to one entree. Our mezza platter for two ($25) arrives in short order. First, a basket of warmed pita triangles appears, followed by the rest of our food. Among several items on the plate, the hommus and baba ghanouj are perhaps Lebanon's most famous spreads, and these versions are outstanding, and the two classic salads (fatouch and taboul<0x00E9>) are hits as well. My sister falls in love with the foul mudammas ($6), a moist combination of fava beans with garlic, lemon and a hint of mint, and I have to agree it's spectacular.
Mezza Mediterranean, 6386 Quinpool Road, 444-3914, full review here.