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Restaurants & Bars 1

Trip report Pt. 1: Fid, Tempest (Nova Scotia)

Barry Silver | Sep 11, 200509:18 PM

Here’s part 1 of a report on my family’s August trip to Nova Scotia and Quebec – with no holds barred in the dining department. Parts 2 and 3 are in the Montreal section.

We started with two nights in Nova Scotia, and our first choice was a winner. All of us loved Fid in Halifax. The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable, service outstanding and the cuisine excellent. Highlights were a mushroom tart appetizer with cheddar, braised lamb entrée and a pork belly entrée which was mind-blowing – a special I think. A grapefruit/cucumber granitee between courses made me smile and my daughter grimace! Desserts were memorable, especially the ginger crème brulee (I love ginger!) and the dessert assortment. All 4 of us loved Fid and were energized for days – couldn’t stop talking about it. Although later eclipsed by the better Quebec restaurants, it was a pleasure in every respect. Prices were very reasonable – the best bargain on our trip. The wine list was short, but affordable – not the highlight but it got the job done. We would LOVE to go back to Fid someday!

The next night we tried Tempest in Wolfville, which has gotten good notices on the web and features a kind of world-fusion cuisine. This was, of the total of 9 restaurants in the “fine dining” category, the only out-and-out disappointment. I’m most irritated by a restaurant that aspires to a high level but cannot come close to executing (I’d rather eat in a good diner). This one got it wrong in the kitchen and out front. Service was friendly enough but disorganized in the extreme. There was no communication between waiter and servers, and lapses included unlit candles, missing flowers on the table, nobody pouring wine, no extra spoons for dessert when requested, etc. All very irritating. The room is nicely open, but that meant we were swatting flies constantly, despite our indoor table. The waiter touted a ceviche appetizer that was sold out – we went with a smoked salmon and a poached finnan haddie, which were good but not special. Entrees were OK to poor, with the worst idea being a tandoori monkfish which had my food-snob teenage son growling – particularly about the flavorless rice/vegetable side dish. Desserts were just unappealing and we only ordered one. Sorry, but this one was for us a loser. Cost was reasonable, but we won’t be back.

From Nova Scotia we went through New Brunswick (we did not starve but there is nothing to report) and then to the promised land: Quebec. See Part 2 on the Montreal board if you’re interested.

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