Deemed Best of Halifax by AOL Travel, Chives Canadian Bistro assembles an eclectic menu of international flavours. Culinary virtuoso Craig Flinn enlists the fruits of local farmers to inspire his epicurean ensembles and construct eco-friendly pumpkin carriages. Treat deserving esophagi to PEI braised beef short ribs nestled on a bed of ricotta ravioli and buttermilk onion-ring pillows ($27) or indulge in a gluten-free fillet of pan-seared Nova Scotia sea bass flanked by caramelized scallops and a cold-water-shrimp cake. The squash, lentil, and chickpea strudel swaddles veggies and legumes in puff pastry and dives into a lagoon of lemongrass curry sauce ($23). While diners discuss the varietals of their recommended wine pairings ($7.25+/glass), they can hunt for Chives' famous buttermilk biscuits on french banquet tables or trace hand-turkeys on black chalkboard menus.
The scent of seared meats and seafood graces the air at E-Pin Grill House. Diners take charge of their meals here, selecting and seasoning foods from the array on their tables before cooking them on the tabletop grill—instead of asking them pointed questions on the tabletop grill. Alternatively, guests can defer to sushi chefs, who slice bright pink cuts of tuna for sashimi platters and maki rolls. They can also pack crimson bento boxes with steaming arrangements of bibimbap and tempura.
The Argyle may have a three-level layout, but visitors only have to decide between two choices: outside or inside. If they choose the former, they’ll watch decorative flags flap casually in the breezes of the rooftop patio; the latter, and they’ll sit amid the dark woods, white tablecloths, and tuxedoed forks that add a formal touch to the dining room. Either way, they can slice up gourmet wood-fired pizzas topped with thai chicken or dig into wings and sip pitchers of beer, but they’ll want to head inside to watch sports on one of the large TVs situated throughout the restaurant.
Continuing the legacy pioneered by Genghis Khan and his Mongol hordes in the 13th century, The Mongolie Grill combines fresh vegetables and proteins with rich sauces over a sizzling grill. Diners choose their own culinary adventure, pairing scallops, prawns, chicken or pork with garden vegetables and topping their creations in one or more sauces from a selection of 18 that includes teriyaki and spicy thai. The Mongolie Grill emphasizes heart-healthy ingredients and its menu eschews trans-fats, MSG, and anything deep-fried in a candy-coated shell.
Victoria and Luis Gaspar sought to introduce Atlantic Canada to new types of world cuisine by filling the menu at Pipa Restaurant + Bar with iconic Brazilian and Portuguese dishes. This distinctiveness helped earn it a spot on Where magazine's 2009 list of Canada's best new restaurants, as well as praise from Halifax Magazine, which has lauded the restaurant for being "something different on the downtown dining scene."
The menu items' names may seem unfamiliar at first, but the flavours evoke a certain homey quality. The mains include hearty Brazilian stews such as feijoada, a blend of smoked meats and black beans that bears the honor of being Brazil's national dish. Appetizers incorporate Portuguese staples such as chouriço sausage and salt cod. The wine list complements these robust flavors with its selection of Portuguese wines, including crisp vinho verdes and bold reds from the Douro region's subterranean reservoirs of grape juice.
Located within the historic Carleton building, which dates as far back as 1759, the restaurant combines modern and Old-World ambience, garnering the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia's award for Best Design & Decor in 2010. Fireplaces and floorboards from reclaimed timber add a rustic vibe to the two dining rooms, but the atrium gets a bright, airy feel from its glass pyramid ceiling. Throughout the week, Pipa Restaurant + Bar hosts live Latin jazz or bossa nova bands, and salsa-dancing events help attendees pick up the dance's basic steps and competition-level hair tosses.
Extreme Pita's efficient sandwich technicians furnish globally inspired pocket meals focused on healthy, made-to-order fare and fresh produce. A colourful menu greets customers with a selection of custom pita sandwiches ($6.79 small; $8.29 regular) and edible bowler hats that boast bases of falafel, lamb gyro, and philly cheese steak with fresh vegetables and sauces. The chef-inspired menu section includes dressed-up selections such as the bourbon chipotle pita that graces tongues with delicious curtsies from grilled chicken, bacon, and cheddar, and the chicken shawarma, whose pita blanket arrives padded with seasoned chicken, tabouleh, and lemon garlic sauce. Diners may also chomp flat-baked creations deserving of a spot in the open-faced sandwich history books, such as the Hawaiian luau ($7.99) which supports a nest of ham, bacon, pineapple, and mozzarella.
Discussion of artwork drifts among tables, punctuated by the jingle of silverware at Untitled Eats. Inside the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Halifax, chefs at the eatery craft a menu of international fusion cuisine, all inspired by exhibitions at the museum and the availability of seasonal ingredients. Drawing on experience accrued while cooking at The Armview, they bustle through the kitchen, searing free-range beef on a grill, roasting couscous, and bringing the flavour from summer vegetables with open flame. Designed by Ian Greig, the bistro's understated, contemporary decor includes a stone bar top mined from the same quarry as the gallery's red sandstone exterior and the world’s slowest car. Handmade light fixtures by Bear River master craftsman Chief Greg McEwan shine down on a striped floor patterned off a geological cross-section of Pictou County.