What is so exciting about Halifax's newest restaurant is that their menu focuses on local ingredients within a 50-mile radius. I'm not just talking about one or two token dishes, but the entire food menu, including condiments, and an extensive Nova Scotia Wine/Beverage list. A large portion of the menu credits the local farms, producers and vendors that they work with to bring their creations to plate.
While a professional food critic I am not, I am a bit fussy when I go out to eat. I think that comes with loving to cook and bake at home... when I go out, I want to be blown away, inspired, and not leave the table feeling that I could have done better myself. Since having our daughter, our dinners out are few and far between, making them even more special. elements on hollis and their team of chefs and servers (big shout out to Chris) did not disappoint any of us... they are definitely within their element.
We all seemed to have different cravings Tuesday evening, so luckily I got to see, taste and get feedback on a good variety of the menu during our visit. Hubby and I started with the Lunenburg Salt Cod Cake and the Maritime Seafood Chowder and Tim & Joy selected the Indian Point Mussels and the Open Face Beef Cheek Lasagna. The Cod Cake was all mine because they are one of my all time favourite comfort foods. It was crispy on the outside and very light on the inside and only delicately seasoned; as I think they should be. I really enjoyed the green tomato chow that it was served with... a classic Nova Scotia pairing (Tim let me know the chow was from the Naked Pickle at the Halifax Seaport Farmer's Market). My husband was blown away by the chowder and was really impressed by the amount of seafood in it (including beautifully caramelized scallops) and it's creaminess.
Our entrées were just as pretty to look at (excellent presentation guys!). I chose the Free-Range Grain Fed Chicken Breast, which comes with creamed leek, green onion and an herb spaetzle which was so good it made me giddy... not a lot of foods will do that other than some killer won ton soup. When the first taste of a meal brings a huge smile to your face you know it's going to be a good night. My chicken was done to perfection with a great sear and was extremely juicy and tender. There were happy faces all around the table, which also held the Tideview Apple Cider Double Cut Pork Chop (the celeriac mash was soooo good, but I didn't want to sample to much for fear of having to share more of my spaetzle), the Grass Fed Rib Eye (with hand cut fries and green tomato ketchup) and Riverview Herb Haddock Fillet, which was so colourful with it's roasted beets and peach salad.
This is my 100th post, and if my name was Oprah I can assure you that there would be dishes from elements on hollis for 'you and you and you!', but my name is Heather (aka Mommy) and what I can give you is my honest opinion of a new Halifax restaurant that is doing a great thing by utilizing our local farmers and food producers and doing it very very well. They are celebrating their official Grand Opening on October 5th but are now open for business in their newly renovated open and comfortable dining room, and they really do value all customer feedback. You can connect with them via their website, facebook or Twitter. For more information on local food producers and creative meal ideas, I highly recommend visiting Tim's blog Real, Creative Eats.
To my Nova Scotian readers, don't forget that this Sunday September 18th is Open Farm Day. Get out and meet some of our local farmers to remind our children (and ourselves) where our dinner actually comes from.
I received free product to test to be able to provide review, but my opinions, as always, are just that... mine.