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Dish at Highwayman restaurant


Halifax, NS

Highwayman • Halifax, NS

1673 Barrington St. 902-407-5260

When the gentleman bandit of Alfred Noyes’ 1906 poem The Highwayman came upon an old country inn, it’s doubtful he ordered the cured fish board. On Barrington Street in Halifax, it’s the right move. This sophisticated and hospitable Galician-style restaurant and bar celebrates its own seaside ties with luscious slices of locally caught, salt-cured albacore loin and silver-skinned sardine filets acidulated with good sherry vinegar. Chase them down with pickled sweet-hot peppers, and you’ll be swearing like a sailor.

Ceilidh Sutherland and chef Dan Vorstermans own North End cocktail bar Field Guide; partners Adam MacLeod and Michael Hopper previously tended bar at La Frasca. These people know how to drink. A fish-friendly rosé, advertised in marquee letters on a cinema light box, is an aromatic, acid-tongued pinot blend from new Nova Scotia producer Lightfoot & Wolfville. The Jesus Bravo is a master stroke: blanco tequila, amaretto, lime and orgeat mixed with Anchor Coffee cold brew that lingers on the palate.

The patatas extremas – patatas bravas amplified with hot peppers and intense, salty bullets of cured smelt – compel my dining companion from Boston (the Halifax of America, according to every soul we’ve encountered today) to utter some unpublishable nuggets of Bostonian street vernacular. I think that means he likes them? As we dig into squid-ink rice, crowned with prawns, clams and mussels and dotted with garlicky aioli, the antique light fixtures dim. Our fellow travellers are buzzing louder. Against Highwayman’s walls, trimmed with wainscotting and painted a deep sea blue, candles flicker in the night. We’re not ready to hit the road just yet.

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1673 Barrington St. 902-407-5260

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