Updates from August, 2010 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • rachellegoguen 5:11 pm on August 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Tea Time in Bedford 

    Today being the last day of August, it also means the end of a fine Bedford summer tradition: afternoon tea at the historic Scott Manor House museum.

    Every afternoon from 2:00-4:00pm during the summer season, the volunteers of Scott Manor House serve up homemade oatcakes and jam, tea, lemonade, and vanilla ice cream with seasonal berries. The prices are so low there is no reason not to order everything on the menu. A single loonie will buy you two delicious, crispy oatcakes, which a sign on the table boasts were “made and served by volunteers.”

    Visitors sit in a small room furnished with a mixture of antiques and folding chairs. Tea is served in a pot covered in a hand-knit cozy, and the lemonade is served in tall glasses atop doilies and saucers. In short: everything about the place is adorable.

    Along with the tea service, the museum offers a full schedule of events throughout July and August, including live music, dancing, exhibits, guided walks and lectures. Admission is always free. Our visit coincided with an exhibit celebrating 100 years of Girl Guides, which allowed for some post-tea, badge-related nostalgia. The Scott Manor House is also located at the one end of the Bedford-Sackville trail, which runs along the Sackville River. If only all walks could end with delicious tea, oatcakes, lemonade and ice cream.

  • MB 9:39 pm on August 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: prince edward island,   

    Lot 30 

    Lot 30

    If you have spent any time in Prince Edward Island lately, you’ll know that Lot 30 in Charlottetown—which opened a scant two years ago—is part of the cream of the Island’s crop of restaurants.

    I was fortunate enough to eat there this week, as I spent some time with my family on the Island. My mother and sister and I have taken to going out for a luxurious dinner together when the opportunity presents itself; our last outing was to Nectar Social House in Dartmouth when the two of them were in Halifax on a snowy joint visit. This time it was my turn to visit them, so I requested we leave the windy North shore of PEI for a few hours and head into town.

    Lot 30 is a sleek restaurant. Deep colours run through the restaurant, modern art hangs on the walls. The menu is small, but impressive, ranging from the wonderful seafood Prince Edward Island is known for—oysters feature prominently on the appetizer menu—to Island lamb and beef. Between the three of us, we ordered the caramelized sea scallops with potato pave and red currant cherry reduction, the surf and turf—a 6oz grilled beef ribeye with seared scallops—with roasted baby potato and peppercorn vinaigrette, and the Shepherds Farm maple braised pork belly with potato puree and natural reduction.

    The meal was sublime. Everything was cooked to absolute perfection; scallops were sweet, juicy and edged with caramelization, the steak was a perfectly seasoned, rosy medium-rare and the pork belly was crisp where it should be and tender everywhere else. The PEI potato was a superstar from pave to puree. My only complaint would be what appears to be their standard garnish of peppers and French beans which seemed like a lazy filler and didn’t really add to the composition of each plate.

    We finished off our meal with a dessert sampler that sated every sweet tooth. It was a really beautiful meal. If you are heading to Prince Edward Island anytime soon—perhaps for the Fall Flavours Festival—check it out! Oh, and bring me with you.

  • MB 8:37 am on August 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: a day of indulgence, , ,   

    Big Day Downtown 

    Big Day Downtown

    As a part of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission’s “Big Day Downtown” marketing strategy, we were given a $100 gift card to run around downtown Halifax and explore the offerings of various local businesses. So on a sunny Saturday morning, Kristina and I decided to meet down in the Granville Mall and see where the day would take us. (More …)

  • MB 9:37 am on August 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: contests, grilled cheese, Michael Howell, tempest, way to go!   

    It’s Official: Michael Howell is a Grate Chef 

    Michael Howell's Grate SandwichMichael Howell’s grilled cheese stood alone at the Dairy Farmers of Canada’s Grate Canadian Grilled Cheese Cookoff in Toronto at the Canadian National Exhibition. The chef and co-owner of Wolfville’s Tempest World Cuisine emerged victorious at August 24’s cookoff, walking away with a cheese grater trophy, after out-grill cheesing Melissa Craig, executive chef at the Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler, BC, Corbin Tomaszeski, executive chef at Toronto, ON’s Holts Café, and Paul Rogalski, executive chef and co-owner of Rouge in Calgary, AB.

    Howell took some time to answer a few quick questions about the contest and what makes a great grilled cheese.

    Tell me how it felt to be selected as one of only four participants from across the country for the contest?

    “I was delighted to be asked. I did a promotion last year for the DFC (Dairy Farmers of Canada) to help promote the 2010 Milk Calendar, but never thought that I would be saked to compete with such an august group of high profile chefs.”

    Describe the sandwiches you made and how you selected your ingredients.

    “My Dark and Stormy was the one I thought might actually win – Chinese BBQ duck sliced thinly and tossed in smoky bbq sauce, grilled red onion, cilantro, Fox Hill Gouda, szechuan peppercorn mayo on dark rye, cooked on a barbeque. The winner was actually an interpretation of the Tuscan pizza on my menu that you had recently – we used fresh figs, prosciutto, arugula and added balsamic marinated roasted red pepper and lemon aioli. The bread was a miniature ciabatta loaf, brshed with oil and cooked in a panini press. I was delighted to be able to use Fox Hill cheeses as they subscribe to the DFC’s 100% Canadian Milk Program.” (More …)

  • MB 3:40 pm on August 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: clever people doing clever things, comedy, , picnicface, pizza   

    Pizzaface: Pizza for Picnicface 


    If you order a pizza from Tomavinos Cellar Ristorante‘s today, 10 percent of your purchase will go towards helping Halifax comedy troup Picnicface make their disco roller boogie comedy movie, Roller Town. Picnicface has been doing a lot of creative fundraising, from selling invented dance moves named after you, to writing eulogies and raps and even offering to go insult a herd of cows for you if you pay the right price. Scott Vrooman let me in on why local pizza lovers and comedy lovers should join forces to support their movie. (More …)

  • MB 4:19 pm on August 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , local brews, pairings   

    Pairing your Garrison 


    Way back in March, I talked to Daniel Girard, Brewmaster at Garrison Brewing about beer pairings, for an article I was working on for the Coast. I wanted the perspective of a local brewmaster while writing the article, and he sent me a lot of great insights, wonderfully thought out information and pairing suggestions for their products. Since the article was more about generalities than specific craft beers, a lot of his great information got left on the editing room (laptop) floor (.doc).

    After enjoying a flight of Garrison beers this past weekend with my Passable pal, Kristina, I dug up the info and thought I’d share it here. (More …)

  • simonathibault 11:06 am on August 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    The Market Habit 

    It’s been three weeks now that the new Seaport Farmer’s Market is open in Halifax.

    I wanted to write something about the opening weekend, excited by the hype of the new space, but it didn’t feel right. It would be like reviewing a restaurant on its opening day. There are bound to be hiccups.

    I also felt the same way in writing about the old market, now called the Historic Halifax Farmer’s Market and occasionally still referred to as the Brewery Market. It was almost too early to dismiss the old girl. It’s like watching people visiting with the newborn, ignoring the older sister. It just didn’t seem right.

    I’ll be honest. I wasn’t all that excited about the new Seaport Market. The organisers of the new market had tried to sustain the hype for almost two years. By the time it actually came to fruition, I felt like any pertinent information about this new space was lost. When would it be open? Who will be there, and who is staying at the old one? Someone tells me this, someone tells me that. I get a hold of my meat vendor who tells me that the doors would be open at seven. Fine. Seven it is.

    (More …)

    • pat 8:59 pm on August 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Enjoyed your article. I am tired of the animosity of the new market towards the old. Finally someone gets it. More choices, more vendors, more variety. It is a win situation having both markets.

      • simonathibault 9:21 pm on August 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for your comment Pat. I don’t believe this is an either/or situation. It’s growth. And I’m happy to help anyone along with growing pains.

    • Bill Wood 3:36 pm on August 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for all the comments. We at the brewery are not worried about the ones leaving ,we want them too go into a place that is totally ready for them as it is a chore too get ready for Sat and not have a ready spot makes it not good. I feel sorry for Chris with all the troubles but it has been good here at the Brewery has my sales are a way up also . The LambMan

  • MB 10:42 am on August 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , gardens, wishing you could spend all day outside   

    Garden State 

    I am in a state of bliss. Yesterday I got to spend some quality time with my parents’ garden in Prince Edward Island. As someone who lives in a beautiful old flat in downtown Halifax—and loves to live in a beautiful old flat in downtown Halifax—having access to a garden is a joyful novelty since I have no backyard square footage where I can grow all of the veggies I love. Instead I get my greens at the market. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But the beauty of pulling some turnips out of the ground and grating them into a fresh, tart slaw within the hour is not lost on me in a haze of routine or regularity. I cherish it.

    I just took a ten minute break from dutifully working (and then another ten to dutifully blog) to head to the garden to pluck a few green tomatoes to fry up for lunch. I also got some tasty looking beets, some more onions to grill and a bucket full of earthy russet potatoes which I’ll add to tonight’s dinner menu. Later on I will get some zucchini and pumpkin blossoms that are begging to be dipped in a light batter and devoured simply by hanging off of the rows of flowering plants that my father has lovingly tended.  I’ll also stuff that ridiculous zucchini up there before spending the breezy North shore evening cracking open the shells of some just-ripe green beans that my two-year-old niece will greedily and speedily pluck the beans from while yelling “pea!” as she eats each one. I’ll say “no, it’s a bean,” she’ll laugh and we’ll crack another one open.

  • simonathibault 3:31 pm on August 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply  


    We here at Passable are not in the habit of simply reblogging or stealing content from other food blogs. We are not a food tumblr blog, or a gastronomic Gawker. We respect the work that goes into putting out blogs, as we do it ourselves.

    But I HAD TO share this lovely thing.

    Churroquembouche image courtesy of Matt Bites. Food styling by the very talented Adam Pearson

    This is why I wish we had a stronger latino influence in this city. For things like this.

    Great, now I want churros.

    • MB 10:40 pm on August 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      The banana chocolate cake dessert at Cafe 101 in Dartmouth has a churro. The Chef, Luis Clavel, has a lot of Central American influences.

  • simonathibault 12:18 pm on August 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Ruth Daniels   

    A Passable Interview: Ruth Daniels 

    I met Ruth Daniels through our mutual friend, our meat vendor.

    How often do you get to say you met someone through a meat vendor?

    But I did, and she and I got to talking. A lot. Originally from Montreal, Ruth moved to Halifax from Toronto with her better half, David, to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren who live here. I had the chance to interview Ruth for CBC’s Information Morning in my Assis Toi series and felt like I found someone who gets what it means to eat : that food is a connection between people, between families, between generations.

    (More …)

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