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.
Rocco Scarola left his hometown of Bari, Italy in 1967 and spent the next quarter century honing his culinary expertise in some of the best restaurants in Halifax. By 1992, he was ready to share his knowledge of Southern Italian cuisine––as well as his mother's treasured oven-baked pasta recipe––with the Nova Scotian masses. Together with his wife Gail and head chef Tracey Cromwell, Rocco finally realized his dream of creating a refined, yet relaxed atmosphere where people could come together to enjoy a good meal, hearty conversation, and an opera-singing wait staff. In 2008, he passed his enterprise to his partners of eight years, Hanna and Robert Gibson, who continue to honor the Italian traditions and excellent service that has made Rocco's a success for almost two decades.
Today, diners can still find Rocco's mother's pasta on the brunch menu, featured alongside Rocco's own coveted pizza recipe, built upon his signature handmade crust. Local seafood and meats from nearby Martock Glan Farms put a modern, sustainable spin on classics such as veal limone and zuppa di pesce dell'aragosta (lobster and fiddlehead bisque), and salads are tossed tableside to prove both the freshness of the ingredients and the existence of gravity. Signature pastas include a spaghetti carbonara topped with garlic and scallops and meat lasagna layered with béchamel and a secret ingredient, though servers make no secret of the fact that all pastas are available in whole grain or gluten-free versions for guests with sensitivities.
Kababji Restaurant whisks taste buds to Lebanon with a menu of spit-roasted meats and tahini-flavoured snacks, such as hummus and falafel. A resident kababji, or shish-kebab cook, marinates top-grade beef and locally sourced lamb in oil and spices, accentuating their natural juices. Groups can also gather around shareable mezza platters that contain a chef's selection of appetizers, such as grape leaves, aged cheeses, and skewered shish taouk and kafta. Guests may dine on this cuisine in the restaurant or have it catered to a venue of their choice.
Uncorking fees vanish like microwaved ice sculptures on Monday and Tuesday evenings, when diners can bring their own wine or sample Ksara, a traditional Lebanese vintage. To cultivate a celebratory atmosphere, the restaurant hosts Saturday-night belly-dancing performances and special events such as weddings and birthday parties.
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.
"Always fresh. Always to order." This is one of the philosophies behind The Battered Fish, but it's not the only one. In addition to corralling the freshest ingredients available and tailoring each dish—including high-quality seafood, gourmet burgers, award-winning fries, and crisp salads—to each customer's specifications, the eatery also commits itself to eco-friendly business practices to back up its dedication to health and the environment. This includes using recyclable materials, reducing water consumption, and working with partners that also practice sustainability.