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Roasting Red Peppers…

Roasting Red Peppers 01

Roasted Red Peppers that have been marinated in olive oil make a lovely Italian Antipasto style Appetizer but they are great to have on hand for a variety of other uses. They can be added to a whole variety of more complex hot and cold dishes, are fantastic when pureed for sauces and condiments, make great garnishes when sliced or dices attractively, and, on a more pedestrian level, go great on sandwiches and wraps. You can buy some fairly decent pre-made varieties in jars, or occasionally in bulk from the deli section of the supermarket, but they are easy enough to prepare at home and the results are far better… Read more

Review: Efendy Turkish and Mediterranean Grill, Halifax

1569 Dresden Row – 902.444.8064 – Website

Efendy 01

Date of Visit: July 11, 2014

When I first saw Efendy, I was actually checking out a couple of other nearby restaurants that I was considering trying. It struck me, though, that as far as I could recall I had never eaten at a Turkish restaurant before. I have several Turkish cookbooks in my library, and have even cooked a few dishes myself, but the actual restaurant experience was something I had yet to cross off my bucket list. Accordingly, I skipped one of my other chosen establishments and gave the place a try…  Read more

Review: Moda Urban Dining, Halifax

1518 Dresden Row – 902.405-3480 – Website

Moda 01

Date of Visit: July 11

 

A few days after dining at Moda, I mentioned the place to a friend of mine who wondered aloud what might be meant by the phrase ‘Urban Dining’… I hadn’t thought about it when I first heard of the place but, afterwards, all I could think was that it must be like ‘Rural Dining’, but without the good food. Moda seemed to have quite a bit of promise when I viewed their website online but the experience itself was sadly disappointing…  Read more

Review: Sushi Nami Royal

1535 Dresden Row – 902.422.9020 – Website

Sushi Nami 01

Date of Visit: July 10, 3:30

 

I espied this restaurant not far from the hotel I was staying at in Halifax just recently and I was attracted by the long list of appetizers featured in the menu posted outside the main entrance. The following day, I stopped in for a long lunch and, while it was not the best Japanese dining experience of my life, it was still a very enjoyable meal… Read more

Review: Ryan Duffy’s, Halifax

1650 Bedford Row – (902) 421-1116 – Website

Ryan Duffy 01

Date of Visit: July 10, 2014.

Many years ago, a friend of mine took my wife and me and some others out to dinner at Ryan Duffy’s Steakhouse when it was located on the Spring Garden Road. That friend passed away just a few months ago and, when I saw Ryan Duffy’s at its new location down by the waterfront, I decided to have a sort of memorial meal in his honor, notwithstanding the fact that I had just had my steak-fix for the week just a couple of nights earlier. As it turned out, the meal I had was fairly decent but the Ryan Duffy’s on Bedford Row was not the Ryan Duffy’s I recall from years past… Read more

Review: McKelvies, Halifax

1680 Lower Water St. – 902.421.6161 – Website

McKelvies 01

Date of Visit: July 9, 2014

 

My most recent visit to Halifax was my first time in Nova Scotia in over 7 years and, accordingly, a good, Maritime Provinces lobster dinner was very much a priority for the trip. I had been told that McKelvies down the near the water-front was good albeit very expensive but, in fact, I found it to be quite reasonably priced and I enjoyed a very decent meal… [READ MORE]

Ambience and Service

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I arrived at McKelvies at a little after 6:30pm during the early dinner seating. The restaurant can manage about 100 guests or so and it was half-full when I was seated. It is quite comfortable, and not too crowded, and is of a generally plain décor except for a somewhat garish aquarium mural taking up the whole of one wall. A series of huge windows make it quite bright and airy inside but, as with the cozy little outdoor patio at the back, there is not much of a view.

The service during my entire meal was very satisfactory. I was seated immediately and a waitress came to take my drink order within a very few minutes. She was helpful with menu suggestions and managed to be attentive without hovering or being too pushy.

The Meal

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Oysters Rockefeller – These were described in the menu as being served with spinach and bacon but I could detect neither in the final dish. There were a few flecks of green here and there but not so much as a hint of bacon, save for a faint smoky taste somewhere in the blend. In the end, these turned out to be oysters grilled with cheese and something I took to be parsley. In actual fact, the dish was pretty good but it was definitely not Oysters Rockefeller, as far as I am concerned, nor, for that matter, was it even really as advertised. Rating: 3 out of 5.

McKelvies 04

Steamed Lobster – McKelvies has its own live lobster tank and I selected a 2lb specimen. This is about my favorite size as lobster can start to get a bit coarse above the three pound size and are fiddly to eat when less than two unless one consumes only the tail and claws and wastes the rest. Generally, I only eat boiled lobster with a bit of bread and maybe some coleslaw but here at McKelvies I was offered the daily vegetable and garlic mashed potato or fries. The idea of potato, especially mashed, really didn’t appeal to me for this sort of supper but I did ask to try the veggies along with some baguette slices and butter.

The quality of a boiled lobster meal depends quite heavily on the quality of the live lobster and it is quite hard to go wrong boiling them unless one is exceptionally careless. Here, I was served a plump, female lobster (generally regarded as better than males) that was cooked as well as I would wish it to be. The vegetable turned out to be carrots and green beans sautéed in butter and these were fine if not very interesting. My only complaint about the whole meal was that the drawn butter for dipping the lobster meat had a rather unpleasant taste that may have been a hint of rancidity or was, perhaps, just an inherent characteristic of the source dairy. In any event, aside from the butter issue, I really enjoyed my lobster dinner. Rating: 4 out of 5.

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McKelvies Signature Ovation Pie – I don’t usually eat desert when dining out but this, described on the menu as ‘French mint ice cream, Oreo Cookie crust, and Chocolate Ganache’, was more than I could resist. The menu description actually sounded very much like a frozen supermarket desert my wife and I enjoy from time to time but, while that product is indeed similar, McKelvies version is a good deal more decadent with a whopping thick layer of mint ice cream, and, instead of a mere drizzle of chocolate, a solid layer like armor-plating across the top. It was sinfully delicious and well worth the guilt. Rating: 5 out of 5.

Overall

There is nothing wildly spectacular about McKelvies by any means but, for all that, it is a very nice restaurant with decent food at a decent price. Though I went for the seafood, it has a generally eclectic menu with something to appeal to almost anyone. It is, I would say, a very good place for a family-outing and, during my visit at least, the service was excellent. I would be happy to return. Rating: 4 out of 5.

McKelvie's on Urbanspoon

 

Review: Cut Steakhouse and Grill, Halifax

5120 Salter Street – 902.429.5120 – Website

Cut Steakhouse 01

Date of Visit: July 8, 2014

Describing a restaurant as being both a ‘steakhouse and grill’ sounds a bit redundant at first but, as it turns out, ‘Cut’ is two quite different dining establishments in one. I was in the mood for a decent steak on the evening of my visit but when I was given a menu after being seated on the lovely downstairs patio I was disappointed to see only two, rather uninteresting, steak choices available. I then discovered that the ‘steakhouse’ part of the operation is on the upper floor and, after hastening up the stairs, I enjoyed a really terrific meal…  Read more

Salty’s, Halifax

1869 Upper Water St., Halifax – (902) 423-6818 – Website

Salty's 01

Date of Visit: July 6, 2014

 My wife and I visited Salty’s on a hot afternoon some 6 or 8 years ago and had drinks on the outdoor deck. We didn’t as far as I can recall, have anything to eat on that particular occasion and so, on my most recent trip to Halifax, I decided to stop in and see what the food was like…  Read more

Review: Jincheng Restaurant

1569 Dresden Row – (902) 431-8588

Jing Cheng 1

Date of Visit: July 5, 2014

When I was planning my recent trip to Halifax, I did some searching interesting Chinese restaurants on the internet but was unable to come up with anything beyond the highly westernized types I like to call ‘Chop Suey Joints’. It was thus with a measure of pleasant surprise that I came across this tiny little hole-in-the-wall Sichuan place just a few minutes walk from my hotel. The name, which means ‘Cheng Capital’ refers to the city now known as ‘Chengdu’, and as the menu explains, the establishment specializes (very ably and well, as it turned out) in the spicy cuisine of Sichuan’s capital…  Read more

Review: The Press Gang Restaurant

5218 Prince Street – 902-423-8816 – Website

The Press Gang 01

Date of Visit: July 4, 2014

 

I was doing a general reconnaissance of the restaurants near to my hotel in downtown Halifax when I spied this place. The sign on the front advertised it as being an oyster bar as well as a restaurant and, fully intent on having fresh oysters at least once during my trip, I had to investigate further. Unfortunately, the place was not yet open but I was met just inside the door by a person I took to be an owner who advised me, almost apologetically, that service did not start until 5pm. He told me the selection of fresh oysters available that day and I promised to return. I did, that very same evening, and ended up having a terrific meal… Read more

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