Every six months, according to The Coast magazine, Chef Stefan Bruchmann begins updating his menu at Nectar Restaurant and Wine Bar. Those seasonal changes have been met with consistent acclaim, including The Coast's honor of "Best Dartmouth Restaurant" five years running. The ever-evolving menu has been known to spotlight mains such as crispy arctic char with a crusted potato cake, wilted spinach, vine roasted tomatoes and honey mustard vinaigrette and a chicken breast stuffed with prosciutto, havarti, and oyster mushrooms served with a red pepper jam. Chef Stefan combines the secrets and techniques that he garnered from his culinary experiences in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland.
Nectar's bartenders match that creativity with a slate of inventive martinis?which includes the garlic-tinged Janes' Bond and the mandarin-kissed Southern Peach?and an extensive wine list. High-backed, white chairs juxtapose the dining room's black floors and tables, creating a striking tableau accented with damask-patterned wallpaper and bright chandeliers. Tucked in the back and upstairs, the patio awaits guests who wish to dine outdoors. Amid this upscale ambiance, the staff hosts themed occasions such as bring-your-own-wine Tuesdays and vegan Wednesdays. On Sundays, Nectar presents live performances from local musicians Daniel Matto, Nadia Moore, and Georges Hebert, who enliven the air with a blend of jazz standards.
After spending 12 years in the corporate world, Chris Smith decided to relinquish his daily suit and tie to pursue a long-time dream of opening a neighbourhood pub. The Dartmouth native elicited the help of friends, family, and a background in carpentry to design and construct the dining room and secret passageways of Jamieson’s Irish-House & Grill, which opened in September 1999. The menu offers traditional Irish seafood, beef, and chicken dishes culled from world-renowned recipes, including Smithwicks beer-battered fish 'n' chips. A lengthy wooden bar houses more than 50 varieties of Scotch, Irish, or blended whiskey as well as several imported beers, both bottled and on draft.
Since the 1960s, Porters Lake Pub & Grill has been serving up staggering portions of merriment in the form of live music, Halloween costume contests, and arm-wrestling tournaments. Today, the pub unfurls a lengthy menu that teems with seafood dishes, juicy burgers, and a surf 'n' turf entree that facilitates a garlic-sauce-infused rendezvous between a 6-ounce new york steak and sautéed black tiger shrimp. Some nights, the pub hosts live music, and on weekends, it cooks up brunch until 2 p.m.—late enough to recharge after morning tasks such as raking the leaves, but early enough to spend a productive afternoon decorating the neighbour’s yard with your leaves.
In the kitchen of La Cucina Caf?, pots full of fresh pasta and house-made sauces simmer on the stove. Chefs whip up classic Italian cream sauce, pesto, and marinara to blanket dishes from penne primavera to chicken parmigiana. And they only pop in pizzas after diners customize crusts with such ingredients as genoa salami, kalamata olives, and hot banana peppers. The same ingredients tuck into wraps and Panini sandwiches. Even the desserts are decidedly Italian: there's cocoa-sprinkled tiramisu and a vanilla-bean gelato sundae topped with warm blueberry-and-peach compote.
Train Station Bike & Bean equips cyclists with bikes, gear, and fresh-brewed coffee in a historic train station located midway along the picturesque St. Margaret's Bay Trail. Pedalling duos can rent a pair of hybrid bikes for eight hours of traffic-free exploration on a 33-kilometre grooved pathway following the route of the railway that connected the area's villages in pre-teleportation days. Other routes transport riders through scenic fishing villages, sandy beaches, and popular sites, such as Peggy's Cove and Aspotogan Loop. The rental includes bike helmets and a bike-rack storage bag to hold valuables and fortifying cupcakes en route.
Trendz Cafe & Wine Bar's certified Chef de Cuisine Daniel Delorme arouses mouths with an array of local and seasonal ingredients. The lunch menu’s curried lobster ragout links arms with mango to high-kick atop a cornbread stage ($14), and the Italian chicken sandwich traps sundried tomato and free-range, rosemary chicken between two slices of focaccia ($13). At Dinner, diners bow to pan-fried halibut that dons a saffron-sauce robe and sits regally atop a vegetable-risotto throne ($25). In the grilled bison striploin, Chef Delorme quells a 6-ounce steak's temper with a calming blanket of redcurrant jus and mood crystals that take the tasty form of grilled summer vegetables and roasted potatoes ($28).