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Restaurants & Bars 5

Halifax: Fid

Greg B. | Dec 17, 2005 01:41 PM

Finally made it to Fid, generally considered these days as the best restaurant in town. The room is fairly small, a square with windows out to the street at one end and a bar with a sideways-keyhole shaped opening into the kitchen at the other. It is done in tones of silver and red, with the kitchen dividing wall finsihed with simple chipboard that has been urethaned. The room is bright and pleasant in a modern style, if a bit cold to the eye.

I was there for lunch, which may be a bit unfair since the menu is more limited than at night. Dennis Johnston, the chef and owner, came out for a visit prior to ordering. He is a proponent of the slowfood movement and uses ingredients that are typical of that style. Dishes were certainly different and unique, but left mixed reviews in my group. Appetizers consisted of spring rolls that are not cooked but rather rolled sushi-style and served with a peanut sauce, which generally left those who ordered them somewhat disappointed; a spicy beef salad that was very good, marred only for me by the presence of raw onion; and a heirloom beet salad with balsamic glaze that was lovely. All were artfully presented and of reasonable portion size for appetizers.

The mains chosen were kao soi, a Thai chicken "semi-soup" according to the waiter, but which looked and tasted like a Mr. Noodles with some chicken, Thai chili and coconut milk added, and topped with the similar style of noodle that had been toasted cruchy --tasty enough, but not what was expected; green curry chicken with sticky rice, which was outstanding; pad thai, equally outstanding; and steak frites, which disappointed -- a piece of flank steak the size and shape of a hot dog, served with a cup of potato strings that reminded us of Hostess hickory sticks in color and shape, although they were french fries. So a draw, two wins, and a loss on those choices.

Desserts tried were a chocolate mousse (good but surprisingly plain in the presentation) and poached pears in a wine sauce that were very well received.

The service was impeccable and prices were not outrageous at lunch except for the wine which seemed a bit high.

I feel somewhat badly posting this review based upon a lunchtime visit because I have a feeling that the evening is where Fid shines. Nevertheless, while enjoyable, based on the single experience I would not rate it ahead of other places in Halifax. I need to give it another chance, this time in the evening.

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