The class of 2015 notable restaurants in Halifax

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.

The Dandelion Cafe

5228 Blowers St, Halifax, NS B3J 1J7

The new Dandelion cafe opened in December, in the Blowers Street space formerly occupied by The Paper Chase. The Dandelion has a funky student/artist vibe, also serving as a gallery, convenience store and live-music venue. Keeping with the times, the menu centres on healthy, homemade comfort foods – nothing deep-fried – and desserts. Try the mulligatawny soup, or the offbeat and wonderful grapefruit brûlée.

Il Trullo Ristorante Italiano Ltd

67 Kings Wharf Pl, Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0B4

With the late-summer opening of Il Trullo, Dartmouth's waterfront now boasts an upscale Italian restaurant to rival those across the Harbour. Situated on Kings Wharf, right on the water, the dining room features a clean, modern interior and glorious views of the surrounding harbour. The thin crust pizzas and handmade pasta are superb – try the pappardelle with local lobster – and the kitchen staff bring modern twists to dishes, such as the basted chicken breast.

Portland Street Crêperie

55 Portland, Dartmouth, NS B2Y 1H1

Sometimes you just want something simple and tasty. That's the whole idea behind Portland St. Creperie, a shiny new addition to Dartmouth's resurgent downtown. The space couldn't be simpler, with plain white walls and small tables, and the menu is equally uncomplicated. Order from the list of six sweet and six savoury crepes, then watch as it's made in front of you in the open kitchen. Try one with Nutella or berries and chocolate. The Nova Scotia cheese tasting crepe, filled with three local cheeses, is also a solid choice.

Lot Six Restaurant&Bar

1685 Argyle, Halifax, NS B3J 2B5

This ambitious new bar and restaurant opened in June in Argyle Street's historic Carleton Hotel building. The compact-but-select menu was drawn up to complement its craft cocktails and carefully chosen wine list. You can order full-sized entrees here – the beef cheeks are a standout – but the emphasis is on small plates and long, convivial evenings of nibbling with friends. Try the albacore confit or the braised fennel salad, or share the charcuterie plate. The vibe here is trendy and youthful, bringing new life to the landmark location.

Primal Kitchen

1463 Brenton St, Halifax, NS B3J 3S7

Primal Kitchen retains the high ceilings and small tables of its fine-dining predecessor, Fiasco, but little else. The punny name – a "primal" is one of the fundamental cuts of meat, to be broken down for cooking or retail – tells you right from the start that this is a meat-centric place. That's not to say you can't order other things, but charcuterie is quite literally front and centre on the menu. It's filled with pates, terrines and all manner of salted and cured specialties. The most distinctive is jerky-like biltong, made from sous chef van Antwerp's father's recipe.

Seventy3 Canadian Fusion

73 Alderney Dr, Dartmouth, NS B2Y 2N7

Seventy3 takes over the Alderney Drive space long occupied by La Perla, the much-loved high-end Italian restaurant. The interior is quietly elegant, with plenty of exposed brick and big, comfortable chairs. The menu is also casually upscale, offering straightforward dishes, such as wild mushroom risotto, as well as playful takes – fried oyster taco, anyone? Avocado and lobster club sandwich? – on well-established favourites.

Chi Bistro

5687 Charles St, Halifax, NS B3K 1K5

Chi Bistro is fusion of a completely different kind. It took over the space (and many staff) of the much-loved creperie Tess' in early November, and brought in a fresh menu of Asian and Asian-inspired dishes. The style is still casual, and you can still get your crepe fix at brunch, but you'll also be able to opt for buns stuffed with pork belly or a Beijing duck taco. The big difference is that the emphasis is now on small plates and "share-ability."

Battery Park Beer Bar & Eatery

62 Ochterloney St, Halifax, NS B2Y 1C2

One of the year's most anticipated openings barely made it under the wire when Ochterloney Street's Battery Park opened in December. It's a joint project of craft beer makers North Brewery and the culinary team responsible for hotspots Brooklyn Warehouse and Ace Burger Co. In Halifax. Executive chef Mark Gray's menu consists entirely of small plates, offering everything from pork belly and Sober Island oysters to rainbow trout "Fish 'n' Chips." Local craft beer, of course, is plentiful.

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.
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.
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