Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 20, 2021
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Where to eat when in Halifax

Dr Lara Hazelton likes art to be challenging and food classic and satisfying – even in an Art Gallery

It’s been said that cooking is an art, but is it true? Art innovates; cooking conforms — and that is how it should be. Who really wants to eat a deconstructed steak? What about a postmodern crêpe? I am happy to leave the ambiguities of meaning to be debated around the easel: at the dining table, give me unrelenting realism every time.

Hence my approval of the Cheapside Café, located in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Cheapside Café is owned and operated by Scanway, which is justly regarded as one of the premier caterers in Halifax. They are famous for their desserts; in particular, crispy almond Florentines dipped in chocolate.

If you live in Halifax long enough, you come to recognize Scanway catering by the familiar Florentines that appear on every dessert platter. Yet the Florentines are delicious, and I would never suggest they be scrapped in favour of some precious concoction such as gingered lima-bean profiteroles, or whatever the hottest new offering in Toronto might be.

Likewise the Cheapside Café. After a morning of strolling the exhibitions, it is a relief to see that the menu offers an array of options that intrigue but do not challenge. On a recent visit, my 10-year-old daughter ordered a chicken-and-curried-apple sandwich and a Caesar salad. My husband had the squash soup and jerked pork-loin sandwich. My choice was perhaps the most daring, mushroom-and-chèvre in phyllo pastry with a side salad.

All of these were prepared competently, and served by a cheerful waitress in a tastefully decorated dining room. In a month, I won’t remember what I had to eat that day. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I want to be moved by the art. I just want the food to satisfy.

Cheapside Café

1723 Hollis Street

Halifax, NS

(902) 425-4494

Lunch for two under $40


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