Chef Hans at The Vines Pasta Grill pushes the boundaries of traditional Italian cuisine by incorporating regional influences from the American Southwest. He adheres to some Old World traditions, though, such as baking bread fresh every day, using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, and coating thin-crust pizzas with house-made sauce and a paint roller. The menu gets inventive when outlining pasta dishes, such as linguine with a spicy Thai sauce and fettuccine with blackened chicken, corn, and a twist of lime. The chefs also demonstrate their mastery of saccharine confections by baking gluten-free chocolate cake and weaving fresh napkins out of cotton candy. Guests settle in for luxurious brunches each Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., or test their luck with one of the restaurant's many social media contests through its Twitter and Facebook pages.
Staying true to its name, the restaurant features leafy vines along its dining room's walls and pillars. In addition to adding splashes of green to the rustic wood tones, the tendrils help to replenish the room's oxygen supply between waves of the dinner rush.
Joe's Food Emporium boasts on its website that its menu has "everything you'll ever want to eat," and it's hardly an exaggeration. The menu spans countries as well as continents—though the kitchen prizes locally grown vegetables as well as healthful doses of extra-virgin olive oil and pure canola oil. North American starters of Cajun chicken and cheese quesadillas work their way up in longitude, eventually settling on poutines that can incorporate cheese curds, chili, or donair meat. Mediterranean recipes yield plates of falafel, pesto pizza, and seafood penne, and stir-fries toss veggies and curry tiger shrimp in flavorful Asian sauces. The selection of oven-baked subs is an atlas all its own, ranging from the hawaiian to the Old English, whose turkey, ham, mozzarella, and vegetables are served atop a page of the Charter of Cnut. Adults belly up to the old-fashioned wood bar to watch the game, whereas diners of all ages enjoy cheesecake and banana splits on the open patio.
John Shippey received Nova Scotia's first Governor Cornwallis-approved liquor license on July 17, 1749. He promptly opened a pub, affectionately nicknamed the Split Crow, where mariners and travelers could stop for a hearty meal, mugs of ale, and a room for the night. No longer a lodging house, Split Crow Pub has moved on from its original location six times over, and now offers its traditional take on pub food throughout Nova Scotia.
Split Crow's cooks top poutine with barbecued pulled pork, cover baked haddock in a seasoned crab crust, and crown beef burgers with seared ham, bacon, pepperoni, and house-made aioli. A generous helping of domestic, imported, and craft beers accompany meals, as do the dulcet tones of live musicians who take the stage several nights a week.
Relying on old-fashioned methods of food preparation, the crew at Classic Fish and Chips LTD prepares just about everything on the menu by hand and in-house. Cabbage is shredded right there in the kitchen before being mixed into coleslaw, and fresh potatoes are sliced into slivers for french fries. The fryers sizzle with fish and scallops covered in fresh-made batter. The throwback vibe extends to the decor. Classic movie posters from the 1950s and ‘60s hang on the walls, and a vintage-style jukebox pumps out tunes and subliminal messages urging patrons to vote for Adlai Stevenson.
At Resto Urban Dining, chefs reinvent classic recipes with a combination of foreign seasonings and unusual twists on presentation. Plates of shrimp and prosciutto spaghettini, baked crab and quinoa-crusted haddock, and espresso-braised New Zealand lamb shank soar out of the kitchen. Many of these dishes are gluten free, and all can be paired with the 33 bottles on Resto's international wine list. These modern dishes also complement a contemporary design aesthetic. In the dining room, servers sidle up to blond-wood tabletops and plush, black booths nestled between the cream-coloured walls.