Savoury snacks: Charcuterie plates in Halifax

Charcuterie is all about savouring cured meats. Charcuterie boards have popped up on menus all over town since Ratinaud French Cuisine opened with a mixture of house-made meats to accompany its beverage list. Here are some of the best of these delectable meat samplers.

Agricola Street Brasserie

1
2540 Agricola St, Halifax, NS B3K 4C5

Charcuterie at its heart is a frugal, rustic thing, adopted by high-end restaurants but more at home in peasant kitchens and blue-collar urban brasseries. What Agricola Street Brasserie lacks in old-country style – it’s a big, airy space, despite the exposed beams and carefully rustic touches – it makes up in culinary prowess. The selection will vary, but expect house-made pates, terrines, sausages and even head cheese to appear in turn. The board’s breads, pickles and even crackers are house-made.

Lot Six Restaurant&Bar

2
1685 Argyle, Halifax, NS B3J 2B5

Newly opened Lot Six in the former Carleton Hotel on Argyle Street fills the elderly building with a sleek, contemporary and youthful cocktail bar and restaurant. The food here is drink-centric, and the charcuterie plate is no exception. The house chefs complement a selection of Ratinaud products with house-cured coppa and pates and rillettes that change with the seasons. Watch for the in-house selection to increase over time; the bar hasn’t been open long enough for some of its meats to finish curing.

Obladee

3
1600 Barrington St, Halifax, NS B3J 1Z6

An evening dedicated to good wine, good company and good charcuterie is time well spent. In Halifax, you’ll find few places better for that than Obladee. The ever-changing wine list in this intimate Barrington Street space is spectacular, and you can build your own charcuterie board. Your options on a given evening might include house-cured salmon and house-made pates, as well as Spanish jamon and cured Webber Farms sausage.

Edna Restaurant

4
2053 Gottingen St, Halifax, NS B3K 3B2

The long communal tables at this popular Gottingen eatery lend themselves to sharing, and the proprietors’ commitment to handcrafted food shows on the charcuterie board. Selection varies through the year, but expect house-made specialties such as smoked pork tenderloin and thin-shaved grisons (dry-cured beef, similar to bresaola). The kitchen here even has the chops to make dry-cured sausages, a relative rarity. House-made condiments, such as the sweet-onion balsamic jam, change weekly.

GIO Restaurant

5
1725 Market St, Halifax, NS B3J 3N9

If you’ve spent a lazy day strolling Spring Garden Road or the Public Gardens, take your newly sharpened appetite to Gio’s. Located in the Lord Nelson Hotel, its menu matches the classical simplicity of the hardwood floors and comfortable seats. The two-person charcuterie plate reflects the seasons and the chef’s recent purchases, but frequently makes excellent use of duck and rabbit in terrines and mousses and in the form of its memorable smoked duck breast.

Lion & Bright

6
2530 Agricola St, Halifax, NS B3K 4C5

Situated cheek by jowl with the Brasserie on Agricola Street, Lion & Bright shares a wall and ownership with Local Source Market located next door. The space is café-casual, with high ceilings and plenty of local art on the walls. The charcuterie here comes from Ratinaud, but the accompaniments show the establishment’s passion for local veggies. You’ll find the sausages and dry-cured meats surrounded by house-made pickles, from standard mustard and bread-and-butter to pickled garlic scapes or asparagus. There’s even the vegetable tribute board, the charcuterie board’s plant-based counterpart.

Primal Kitchen

7
1463 Brenton St, Halifax, NS B3J 3S7

Many restaurants serve charcuterie, but it’s the heartbeat of only a very few. One of those is Primal Kitchen, a white-tableclothed shrine to all things meat. You won’t have to search for charcuterie on the menu, because it proudly occupies the central position. Choose from goose-breast prosciutto or rabbit terrine, lamb pastrami or the jerky-like biltong of chef van Antwerp’s native South Africa.

Field Guide Restaurant

8
2076 Gottingen, Halifax, NS B3K 3A9

Sometimes, less is more. Gottingen Street’s uber-trendy Field Guide sources its charcuterie from neighbouring Ratinaud, just a block away, but resists the temptation to expand on what’s already a very good thing. The sleek, chic modern eatery habitually showcases its suppliers, and that extends to Ratinaud as well. The board comes with house-made mustard and sourdough bread, but otherwise lets the flavours of the cured meats speak for themselves. It’s the energy of the place – and the craft beer and cocktails – that provide the real accompaniment.

It’s a great time to be a food lover in Nova Scotia. The city’s talented chefs have taken dining here to a whole new level, seeking out local ingredients and using them in innovative ways. Local wine is also enjoying an upswing in popularity, with ever more wineries and surprisingly sophisticated wines. Enjoy Nova Scotia wines at the following restaurants.
Nothing says Halifax like a late-night donair or falafel sandwich enjoyed with friends at about 2 am on a downtown street corner. That might come as a surprise to outsiders who don’t realize how much the city’s culinary scene owes to Middle Eastern food. And Haligonians might also be surprised at the range and variety of Middle Eastern food available around town.
Like any city with a bustling food scene, Metro Halifax sees a lot of restaurants come and go in the course of a year. It's always sad to say goodbye to old favourites, but each year brings its own upside in the form of fresh, new dining establishments. Here are a few of 2015's notable arrivals.
Close menu