I was set to embark on a week long rural road trip of Nova Scotia with journalists from South Korea, Germany and Canada. The four of us launched our adventure in Halifax at one of the city’s top restaurants, Five Fishermen.
Located in the heart of downtown Halifax, The Five Fishermen is housed in a building which shares a fascinating history. Originally constructed as a schoolhouse in 1817, it sits across the street to St Paul’s Anglican Church, the oldest building in Halifax, built in 1750.
The building changed hands when Anna Leonowens opened an Art school. Before coming to Halifax, Anna was the governess to the children of the King of Siam, an experience she would later write a book about called “Anne and the King of Siam.” The famous book would be translated into a Broadway musical, Academy Award winning movie and many other versions of “The King and I.”
It wasn’t long after Anna left the building that it was taken over by the Snow family. Snow and Sons would enjoy a bustling business running a mortuary and their funeral home wold play a significant part in one of the world’s greatest disasters. In April 1912 when the great RMS Titanic went down off the coast of Newfoundland two of the victims, John Jacob Astor IV (wealthiest man on the ship) and Charles M. Hayes (president of Grand Trunk Railway), among others were brought to Snows Funeral Home so appropriate arrangements could be made.
While sitting in the dining room of the Five Fishermen one can appreciate the significant circumstances which have unfolded inside these walls. Chef Jamie MacDougall pays homage to Halifax’s connection to its harbour by offering a menu which celebrates ocean’s bounty.
Our local host that evening insists that we clink champagne glasses via her favourite Nova Scotia bubbly, award winning Nova 7 produced by Benjamin Bridge. Over the next week we would become wildly familiar with the bottle and its pink petillance. The five of us sampled through a parade of plates that evening which focussed on serious seafood. Sweet memories from the sea featuring: lobster and sweet potato corn chowder, spicy garlic shrimp, lobster ravioli, crab cakes, bbq’d pristine bay oysters, crab crusted haddock and pan seared halibut.
By the end of our wine sloshed evening choosing a dessert for the table became an impossible task so we chirped to our waiter, “one of everything darling!” And that my friends is how you properly toast a bubbly bonjour to Nova Scotia.
Nova 7, Benjamin Bridge, Nova Scotia
Tidal Bay, Benjamin Bridge, Nova Scotia
Hall Bay Cream Ale
Arugula and Poached Pear
red wine poached pear, crisp prosciutto, spiced walnuts, asiago, maple balsamic vinaigrette
Lobster and Sweet Potato Corn Chowder
mascarpone, peas, saffron oil, pine nut coulis, mint oil
Spicy Garlic Shrimp
garlic, chilis, grape tomatoes, olive oil
panko crusted, avocado lime coulis, chipotle mango salad
BBQ Pristine Bay Oysters
garrish irish red ale, fox hill gouda, oultons double smoked pork belly
Crab Crusted Haddock
local line-caught haddock topped with crab and parmigiano crust, white bean and bacon cassoulet, steamed asparagus
Pan Seared Halibut
cornmeal crusted sambro halibut, lobster potato hash, grilled asparagus, tangerine gastrique, fried capers
aaa alberta beef, roasted garlic mashed potato, seasonal veg, blue cheese sauce
filled with white chocolate gelato, topped with belgian dark chocolate
milk chocolate sorbet, chantilly cream
meringue, lemon curd, fresh berries
Blueberry Lime Cheesecake
local wild nova scotia blueberries, blueberry coulis, chantilly cream
dark chocolate ganache, white chocolate mousse, milk chocolate grand marnier tart, white chocolate brownie