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ChowReport from Halifax -- very long, I'm afraid

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ChowReport from Halifax -- very long, I'm afraid

Jane | Oct 8, 2004 01:55 PM

Greetings, Hounds. After several months of lurking, I thought I'd report on my recent trip to Halifax with my elderly, foodie mother. First of all, thanks to everyone who has given tips re: Halifax over the last few months -- I made copious notes before I left Toronto and managed to visit many fabulous restaurants in just four days. Here are a few highlights:
Salty's: had a great, uncomplicated dinner at outstanding prices (bacon-wrapped scallops and seafood casserole, which was bursting with enormous shrimp, scallops and chunks of haddock). The view was lovely and, let me say it again, the place offered outstanding value.
O'Carroll's: great lunch in a beautifully designed pub. Tried the risotto crab cakes and shrimp curry. Both were very fresh, very flavourful and very good. Our waiter was a real treat: charming, talkative and very professional. (And cute, too...)
Hamachi House: my mum isn't a sushi fan so we stuck to shrimp and chicken teriyaki plus gyoza. All were good but not too memorable.
The Old Triangle: another gorgeous pub, with live music every night (free of charge!) and very good food. Tried the grilled scallops and the Jack Daniel's BBQ chicken pizza. Both were impeccably prepared and nicely presented. The leek and potato cakes that came with the scallops had a hint of feta, which made them delectable. The scene was VERY lively (and pretty loud), but it was great fun. My mum had a total blast, esp. as she sipped our post-dinner shots of Jameson's. Great value!
McKelvie's: had the seafood chowder, spinach salad and crab cakes. All were quite good, but not stellar. Service was excellent.
da Maurizio: thank you to everyone who has raved about this place. I had one of the best meals of my life, and god knows I've eaten a lot of really, really fine meals. :))) Between us we had the scallops in a port reduction, the prosciutto-stuffed shrimp, the mixed seafood in parchment paper, and (the crowning glory) the roast squab wrapped in prosciutto in a vinsanto/blackberry sauce, served with frizzled potatoes and an asparagus and red pepper bundle. I can't say enough good things about da Maurizio -- the food was impeccable, the setting stunning (we had a window table looking out over the harbour), and the service extraordinary. Whoever the owners are, they have invested heavily in educating their staff, and it shows. The service was friendly without being intrusive, and there were a lot of subtle signs of excellent training. Yes, it's expensive (entrees were $30 each) but in general I found the food prices in Halifax very, very high. da Maurizio may be pricey, but you can be assured of a magic meal.

Thanks again for all the Chowhound tips. We couldn't have eaten as well without your help!

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