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Halifax
2053 Gottingen St. | 902-431-5683
ednarestaurant.com

They’re digging up treasure in the fertile soil of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, and hauling it out of the brisk Atlantic waters, too. But until now you’ve never tasted that glory – dainty little Sober Island oysters (east on Highway 107), Blomidon méthode traditionnelle crémant (northwest on the 101) – in a room quite as soulful as Jenna Mooers’ North End bistro.

Edna is named for a Jazz-Age American feminist poet (Edna St. Vincent Millay), and the dining room is wrapped in wooden planks salvaged from a church in Hantsport. “Oh, that? It’s just lettuce,” says the waitress upon hearing me swoon over the market salad’s greens. “I drive home to the south shore and practically pluck it from out the window. I guess we’re spoiled here.”

The staff hustle coolly to move Rob Reynolds’ clever but not fussy cooking to your candlelit table – that seared local albacore standing waist-deep in a hot dashi doesn’t dawdle at the pass under a sous-chef’s tweezers. No, the bell dings and the dish arrives dressed with enoki mushrooms and bok choy and topped with a parsnip purée, nailing that crucial marriage of sweet and umami.

Dessert is a tiny jar of salt-dusted vegan chocolate mousse – silken tofu, chocolate soy milk, cocoa – luxurious and satisfying. The mousse is made by Jane Wright, Jenna’s mother, whose own restaurant once ranked number 10 on this list. Jane’s on the Common opened just over a decade ago, when Jenna was in grade nine. Tonight, Edna is all grown up.

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