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2007 Best of Food Readers' Survey Results 

This year, The Coast celebrates the sixth year of our Best of Food readers’ survey, giving props to Metro Halifax’s finest people, restaurants, bars and shops.

Best ChefDennis Johnston (Fid)1569 Dresden Row, 422-91621st runner-up: Craig Flinn (Chives), 1537 Barrington Street, 420-96262nd runner-up: Ray Bear (Gio), 1725 Market Street, 425-1987, www.giohalifax.com

Best New RestaurantMezza6386 Quinpool Road, 444-3914, www.mezzarestaurant.comWhen Tony Nahas found the location for Mezza, in a former Chinese restaurant on busy Quinpool Road, he knew it was perfect. “We wanted something central,” Nahas says. “People kept talking about parking, but it’s not about parking, people are going to come here for the food. You want to go downtown to il Mercato or Seven or Opa!—anywhere downtown, there’s no parking.” Looking ahead he envisions great things for Mezza and for the street as well, predicting that Quinpool will become the next hot destination in Halifax—a future Spring Garden Road. But what’s really special about this contemporary Lebanese restaurant—besides a rich menu of over 30 mezzet and entrees—is the fresh interior design by Peter Ghosn, dramatic in its clean lines, natural elements and warm lighting, all pivoting on a unique engraved hardwood ceiling that Nahas says took over three months to install. A private room is comprised of four tents, which can be altered to make room for parties of any size, from six to 40. And the attention to detail is paying off: since it opened, Mezza has been busy. “It’s very good,” says Nahas. “The food’s very good, the ambiance is good, the restaurant is good. Everything’s great.”1st runner-up: Mosaic Social Dining Lounge, 1584 Argyle Street, 405-4700, www.mosaicsocialdining.com2nd runner-up: Gio, 1725 Market Street, 425-1987

Best Restaurantjane's on the common2394 Robie Street, 431-5683, www.janesonthecommon.com1st runner-up: The Wooden Monkey, 1685 Argyle Street, 444-38442nd runner-up: Chives Canadian Bistro, 1537 Barrington Street, 420-9626

A LA CARTE

Best BurgerDarrell's5576 Fenwick Street, 492-2344, www.darrellsrestaurants.com1st runner-up: The Chickenburger, 1531 Bedford Highway, 835-65652nd runner-up: Henry House, 1222 Barrington Street, 423-5660

Best ChowderSalty's1869 Upper Water Street, 423-68181st runner-up: jane's on the common, 2394 Robie Street, 431-56832nd runner-up: The Five Fishermen, 1740 Argyle Street, 422-4421

Best Cinnamon RollMary's Bread BasketThe Brewery Market, 1496 Lower Water Street, 423-29741st runner-up: Cinnabon, Halifax Shopping Centre, 453-43802nd runner-up: Certainly Cinnamon, 1673 Barrington Street, 423-2466

Best Club SandwichYour Father's Moustache5686 Spring Garden Road, 423-6766, www.yourfathersmoustache.ca1st runner-up: Mediterraneo, 1571 Barrington Street, 423-44032nd runner-up: Armview Restaurant & Lounge, 7156 Chebucto Road, 455-4395

Best DessertStöneHäven Dining Experience5244 Blowers Street, 423-55651st runner-up: jane's on the common, 2394 Robie Street, 431-56832nd runner-up: il Mercato Ristorante, 5560 Spring Garden Road, 422-2866

Best DonairKing of Donair1580 Grafton Street, 422-00001st runner-up: Tony's Pizza, 2390 Robie Street, 422-48332nd runner-up: Robert's Pizza and Donair, 364 Windmill Road, 463-8444

Best FalafelRay's FalafelScotia Square, 2000 Barrington Street, 492-02331st runner-up: Tarboosh Lebanese Cuisine, 5566 Fenwick Street, 405-40002nd runner-up: Pyramid Cafe, 2196 Windsor Street, 422-1768

Best Fish and ChipsFries & Co.2603 Connolly Street, 455-52501st runner-up: John's Lunch, 352 Pleasant Street, 469-30742nd runner-up: Willman's Fried Foods, 5644 Kane Street, 454-0929

Best FriesBud the SpudSpring Garden at Brunswick1st runner-up: Fries & Co., 2603 Connolly Street, 455-52502nd runner-up: Quincy's On Quinpool, 6273 Quinpool Road, 422-4414, www.quincys.ca

Best Ice Cream/GelatoDio Mio Gelato Desserts Cafe5670 Spring Garden Road, 492-34671st runner-up: Cows, Historic Properties, 422-93362nd runner-up: Botticelli's, 1447 Lower Water Street, 425-7466

Best MusselsThe Five Fishermen1740 Argyle Street, 422-44211st runner-up: Economy Shoe Shop, 1663 Argyle Street, 423-7463, www.economyshoeshop.ca2nd runner-up: StöneHäven Dining Experience, 5244 Blowers Street, 423-5565

Best NachosEconomy Shoe Shop1663 Argyle Street, 423-7463, www.economyshoeshop.ca1st runner-up: Mexicali Rosa's, 5680 Spring Garden Road, 422-76722nd runner-up: Your Father's Moustache, 5686 Spring Garden Road, 423-6766, www.yourfathersmoustache.ca

Best Pastail Mercato Ristorante5560 Spring Garden Road, 422-28661st runner-up: Vines Pasta Grill, 4 Panavista Drive, 434-4114, www.vinespastagrill.com2nd runner-up: Vinnie's Pasta Bar, 5361 Inglis Street, 425-4435

Best Pizza PieSalvatore's Pizzaiolo Trattoria5541 Young Street, 455-11331st runner-up: Tomasino's Cellar Ristorante, 5173 South Street, 425-71112nd runner-up: Nick 'N Willy's, 6169 Quinpool Road, www.nicknwillyspizza.com

Best Pizza SliceSicilian Pizza5245 Blowers Street, 423-55551st runner-up: Salvatore's Pizzaiolo Trattoria, 5541 Young Street, 455-11332nd runner-up: King of Donairs, 1580 Grafton Street, 422-0000

Best Sandwich (Cold)G. Abato & Sons Italian Market6061 Young Street, 455-61241st runner-up: Italian Gourmet, 5431 Doyle Street, 423-78802nd runner-up: Bob & Lori's Food Emporium, 2179 Gottingen Street, 422-3150

Best Sandwich (Grilled)The Bean Sprout Cafe480 Parkland Drive, 404-3771, www.beansproutcafe.com1st runner-up: G. Abato & Sons Italian Market, 6061 Young Street, 455-61242nd runner-up: Queen of Cups, 44 Ochterloney Street, 463-1983, www.queenofcups.ca

Best ShawarmaEuropean Food Shop5246 Blowers Street, 420-1010 / 428-36631st runner-up: Venus Pizza, 1558 Barrington Street, 425-88822nd runner-up: Pyramid Cafe, 2196 Windsor Street, 422-1768

Best SteakThe Keg1712 Market Street, 425-83551st runner-up: Jon Alan's Luxx, 5523 Spring Garden Road, 405-40602nd runner-up: Ryan Duffy's Steak & Seafood, 5640 Spring Garden Road, 421-1116

Best Veggie BurgerDarrell's5576 Fenwick Street, 492-2344, www.darrellsrestaurants.com1st runner-up: The Wooden Monkey, 1685 Argyle Street, 444-38442nd runner-up: Dio Mio Gelato Desserts Cafe, 5670 Spring Garden Road, 492-3467

Best WingsYour Father's Moustache5686 Spring Garden Road, 423-6766, www.yourfathersmoustache.ca1st runner-up: Oasis Pub & Eatery, 5675 Spring Garden Road, 422-22272nd runner-up: Peel Pub, 5650 Spring Garden Road, 425-5855

WORLD EATS

Best ChineseThe Great Wall1649 Bedford Row, 422-61531st runner-up: Jean's Chinese Restaurant, 5972 Spring Garden Road, www.jeansrestaurant.ca2nd runner-up: Fan's Chinese Restaurant, 451 Windmill Road, 469-9165

Best Dim SumThe Great Wall1649 Bedford Row, 422-61531st runner-up: China Classic, 6311 Quinpool Road, 429-28282nd runner-up: Zen Chinese Cuisine, 287 Lacewood Drive, 457-6868

Best GreekOpa! Greek Taverna1565 Argyle Street, 492-7999, www.opataverna.com1st runner-up: Athens Restaurant, 6303 Quinpool Road, 422-15952nd runner-up: Greek Village Restaurant, 6253 Quinpool Road, 405-3750

Best International FareBaan Thai1569 Dresden Row, 446-43011st runner-up: Talay Thai, 1261 Barrington Street, 404-37002nd runner-up: Taj Mahal, 5175 South Street, 492-8251

Best Italianil Mercato Ristorante5560 Spring Garden Road, 422-28661st runner-up: da Maurizio, 1496 Lower Water Street, 423-08592nd runner-up: Piccolo Mondo, 1580 Argyle Street, 429-0080

Best Middle EasternTarek's Cafe3045 Robie Street, 454-87231st runner-up: Tarboosh Lebanese Cuisine, 5566 Fenwick Street, 405-40002nd runner-up: Mezza, 6386 Quinpool Road, 444-3914, www.mezzarestaurant.com

Best SushiHamachi House5190 Morris Street, 425-7711, www.hamachihouse.com1st runner-up: Dharma Sushi, 1576 Argyle Street, 425-77852nd runner-up: Minato Sushi Japanese Restaurant, 1520 Queen Street, 420-0331

RESTAURANT SCENE

Best AppetizerEconomy Shoe Shop1663 Argyle Street, 423-7463, www.economyshoeshop.ca1st runner-up: Mosaic Social Dining Lounge, 1584 Argyle Street, 405-4700, www.mosaicsocialdining.com2nd runner-up: The Fireside, 1500 Brunswick Street, 423-5995

Best BreakfastArdmore Tea Room6499 Quinpool Road, 423-75231st runner-up: Cora's Breakfast and Lunch, 1535 Dresden Row, 490-26722nd runner-up: Armview Restaurant & Lounge, 7156 Chebucto Road, 455-4395

Best Brunchjane's on the common2394 Robie Street, 431-56831st runner-up: Your Father's Moustache, 5686 Spring Garden Road, 423-6766, www.yourfathersmoustache.ca2nd runner-up: Deco, 5518 Spring Garden Road, 423-9795

Best CafeJust Us! Coffee Roasters1678 Barrington Street, 422-5651, www.justuscoffee.com1st runner-up: The Bean Sprout Cafe, 480 Parkland Drive, 404-3771, www.beansproutcafe.com2nd runner-up: Carlitos Cafe, 6220 Quinpool Road, 444-7555

Best DecorEconomy Shoe Shop1663 Argyle Street, 423-7463, www.economyshoeshop.ca1st runner-up: jane's on the common, 2394 Robie Street, 431-56832nd runner-up: Onyx, 5680 Spring Garden Road, 428-5680

Best DinerArdmore Tea Room6499 Quinpool Road, 423-75231st runner-up: Armview Restaurant & Lounge, 7156 Chebucto Road, 455-43952nd runner-up: The Chickenburger, 1531 Bedford Highway, 835-6565

Best Fine DiningSeven Wine Bar1579 Grafton, 444-4777, www.sevenwinebar.comWine is a complicated beast. And for those who don’t know their Valpolicella from their Pino Gris, or want a new experience in wine tasting, your choice for this year’s Best Fine Dining employs three sommeliers, including Seven’s co-owner Costas Elles. “We really try and make wine fun,” says Tom Jackson, general manager of Seven and one of Elles’ other restaurants, the popular Mosaic Social Dining Lounge, a runner-up for Best New Restaurant. “People come in with all different levels of interest and education about wine, and the sommeliers and the staff will take it from there.” Keeping up on trends is important too, and the Seven staff is always on the lookout for new wines in every price range, and exclusive liquors for their seasonal martini menu. But there’s so much more to Seven than that expertly poured Bison Vodka Cucumber Martini: from the plush lounge to the sophisticated small plates menu, it’s a special night. “We do our best to take into account all aspects of the diner’s whole experience,” says Jackson. “From the way the customer is greeted at the door to the wine list and the atmosphere. It’s the whole experience overall, and it’s a fantastic place to eat.”1st runner-up: Bish World Cuisine, 1475 Lower Water Street, 425-7993, www.bish.ca2nd runner-up: da Maurizio, 1496 Lower Water Street, 423-0859

Best Late NightFreeman's Little New York6092 Quinpool Road, 429-02411st runner-up: The Candy Apple, 1726 Grafton Street, 425-05002nd runner-up: Economy Shoe Shop, 1663 Argyle Street, 423-7463, www.economyshoeshop.ca

Best PatioYour Father's Moustache5686 Spring Garden Road, 423-6766, www.yourfathersmoustache.ca1st runner-up: Argyle Bar & Grill, 1575 Argyle Street, 492-8844, www.theargyle.ca2nd runner-up: Economy Shoe Shop, 1663 Argyle Street, 423-7463, www.economyshoeshop.ca

Best Pub FoodThe Old Triangle Ale House5163 Prince Street, 492-4900, www.oldtriangle.com1st runner-up: Henry House, 1222 Barrington Street, 423-56602nd runner-up: Your Father's Moustache, 5686 Spring Garden Road, 423-6766, www.yourfathersmoustache.ca

Best Restaurant on WheelsBud the SpudSpring Garden Road at Brunswick Street1st runner-up: The Dawgfather, Dal SUB, University at LeMarchant2nd runner-up: The Halifax Hot Dog Co.

Best Restaurant Outside the Downtown CoreMexico Lindo3635 Dutch Village Road, 445-09961st runner-up: Queen of Cups, 44 Ochterloney Street, 463-1983, www.queenofcups.ca2nd runner-up: Vines Pasta Grill, 4 Panavista Drive, 434-4114, www.vinespastagrill.com

Best Seafoodthe Five Fishermen1740 Argyle Street, 422-4421, fivefishermen.com1st runner-up: McKelvie's, 1680 Lower Water, 421-61612nd runner-up: Salty's, 1869 Upper Water, 423-6818

Best Take Out LunchG. Abato & Sons Italian Market6061 Young Street, 455-6124, www.italianmarket.ca1st runner-up: Italian Gourmet, 5431 Doyle Street, 423-78802nd runner-up: Tarek's Cafe, 3045 Robie, 454-8723

The Wooden Monkey serves up generous platefuls of vegetarian delight.photo Julé Malet-Veale
Best Vegetarian FriendlyThe Wooden Monkey1685 Argyle Street, 444-3844, www.thewoodenmonkey.ca1st runner-up: Satisfaction Feast, 1581 Grafton Street, 422-35402nd runner-up: Heartwood Bakery and Cafe, 6250 Quinpool Road, 425-2808

DRINKS

Best Beer PubRogues Roost5435 Spring Garden Road, 492-BEER1st runner-up: Henry House, 1222 Barrington Street, 423-56602nd runner-up: The Granite Brewery, 1662 Barrington Street, 422-4954

Best Beer SelectionMaxwell's Plum1600 Grafton Street, 423-50901st runner-up: Old Triangle Irish Ale House, 5136 Prince Street, 492-4900, www.oldtriangle.com2nd runner-up: Rogues Roost, 5435 Spring Garden Road, 492-BEER

Best CaesarThe Bitter End1572 Argyle Street, 425-3039, www.bitterend.ca1st runner-up: Tom's Little Havana, 5428 Doyle Street, 423-86672nd runner-up: Your Father's Moustache, 5686 Spring Garden Road, 423-6766, www.yourfathersmoustache.ca

Best Coffee (Fancy)Carlitos Cafe6220 Quinpool Road, 444-75551st runner-up: The Bean Sprout Cafe, 480 Parkland Drive, 404-3771, www.beansproutcafe.com2nd runner-up: Wired Monk, 5147 Morris Street, 422-2219, www.wiredmonk.com

Best Coffee (Regular)Just Us! Coffee Roasters1678 Barrington Street, 422-56511st runner-up: Java Blend Coffee Roasters, 6027 North Street, 423-6944, www.javablendcoffee.com2nd runner-up: Carlitos Cafe, 6220 Quinpool Road, 444-7555

Best Happy HourThe Split Crow1855 Granville Street, 422-4366, www.splitcrow.com1st runner-up: Peddler's Pub, Granville Mall, 423-5033, www.peddlerspub.com2nd runner-up: The Dome, 1741 Argyle Street, 422-6907

Best MartiniThe Fireside1500 Brunswick Street, 423-59951st runner-up: The Bitter End, 1572 Argyle Street, 425-3039, www.bitterend.ca2nd runner-up: Onyx, 5680 Spring Garden Road, 428-5680

Best MicrobrewPropeller Brewery2015 Gottingen Street, 422-77671st runner-up: Rogues Roost, 5435 Spring Garden Road, 492-BEER2nd runner-up: Garrison Brewing Company, 1149 Marginal Road, 453-5343

Best MilkshakeThe Chickenburger1531 Bedford Highway, 835-65651st runner-up: Ardmore Tea Room, 6499 Quinpool Road, 423-75232nd runner-up: Freak Lunchbox, 1723 Barrington Street, 420-9151, www.freaklunchbox.com

Best SmoothieJuice eh!Halifax Shopping Centre, 444-42001st runner-up: Booster Juice, Bishop's Landing, 422-43202nd runner-up: Pete's Frootique, 1515 Dresden Row, 425-5700, www.petesfrootique.com

Best TeaQueen of Cups44 Ochterloney Street, 463-1983, www.queenofcups.ca1st runner-up: Just Us! Coffee Roasters, 1678 Barrington Street, 422-56512nd runner-up: Carlitos Cafe, 6220 Quinpool Road, 444-7555

Best Wine ListSeven Wine Bar1579 Grafton Street, 444-4777, sevenwinebar.com1st runner-up: Onyx, 5680 Spring Garden Road, 428-56802nd runner-up: Saege Bistro, 5883 Spring Garden Road, 429-1882, www.saege.ca

SHOPS

Best BakeryJulien's Pastry Shop5517 Young Street, 455-9717, juliens.ca1st runner-up: Mary's Bread Basket, The Brewery Market, 1496 Lower Water Street, 423-29742nd runner-up: Gingerbread Haus, 1138 Queen Street, 425-4333

Best Grocery StoreAtlantic Superstore1145 Barrington Street, 492-32401st runner-up: Atlantic Superstore, 3601 Joseph Howe Drive, 453-10802nd runner-up: Pete's Frootique, 1515 Dresden Row, 425-5700, www.petesfrootique.com

Best Natural FoodPlanet Organic6485 Quinpool Road, 425-74001st runner-up: Heartwood Bakery and Cafe, 6250 Quinpool Road, 425-28082nd runner-up: Home Grown Organic Foods, 6188 Allan Street, 492-1412, www.hgof.ns.ca

Best Wine/Liquor StoreBishop's Cellar1477 Lower Water Street, 490-26751st runner-up: Port of Wines, 5431 Doyle Street, 422-05802nd runner-up: Premier Wine & Spirits, 1535 Dresden Row, 435-6945, www.premierwineandspirits.ca

SERVICE

Best BartenderHeidi Walsh (Reflections Cabaret)5184 Sackville Street, 422-29571st runner-up: Josh Burbidge (Rogi Orazio), 5537 Young Street, 454-99912nd runner-up: Gina Morrison (Tom's, Tribeca), 5428 Doyle Street, 423-8667; 1588 Granville Street, 492-4036

Best Catering CompanyScanway6088 Quinpool Road, 425-68061st runner-up: Certainly Cinnamon, 1673 Barrington Street, 423-24662nd runner-up: Chives Canadian Bistro, 1537 Barrington Street, 420-9626

Best Coffee SlingerAnnette Mumford (Carlitos Cafe)6220 Quinpool Road, 444-75551st runner-up: Colin Keshen (Bean Sprout Cafe), 480 Parkland Drive, 404-37712nd runner-up: Nicole Weagle (Sam's Macchiato), 1535 Dresden Row, 406-2900

Best ServerMark Royle (jane's on the common)2394 Robie Street, 431-5683It won’t be a big surprise to anyone who eats out that you’ll find the best servers at the best restaurants. Your choice for this year’s Best Server, Mark Royle, has worked at jane’s on the common—this year’s Best Restaurant—since it opened four years ago. Part of what gives jane’s that special neighbourhood restaurant feel—and keeps that weekend brunch line-up hopping—is the consistent, friendly service: There are no surprises here. For Royle, who works one brunch and four nights a week, what makes jane’s special is the “great staff—we’re like a great family—and the regulars are fantastic too.” Originally from Newfoundland, Royle came here to attend NSCAD, and has been serving Haligonians for about 10 years. He says the secret to being the city’s best server is simple: “You just have to like people. And find the connection with them.”1st runner-up: Leigh-Ann Alexander (The Vines), 4 Panavista Drive, 434-4114, www.vinespastagrill.com2nd runner-up: Josie Brown (Jean's Chinese Restaurant), 5972 Spring Garden Road, www.jeansrestaurant.ca

Congratulations to Nicholas Forward, who put his Best of Food vote where his fork is, and won $1,000 in gift certificates from local restaurants and bars. Also look for dinner invitations from Terri Martin and Zoe Dunsworth, who will be full on their respective $400 and $300 gift certificates.

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Vol 24, No 27
December 1, 2016

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