This past week Halifax was treated to its first ever burger week. From Mar. 21 until Mar. 27 restaurants across the HRM offered burgers for a discounted price or a specialty burger with proceeds going to Feed Nova Scotia. Many of the restaurants were ones that you would expect: Ace Burgers Co., Darrell’s Restaurant and Chickenburger. I’m sure they had great items (Ace Burgers Co. is always amazing in my books) but one restaurant blew me away.
Le Bistro on South Park St. served up a very tasty haddock burger in an intimate and cozy setting. Could you ask for more? Maybe an appetizer? Their bruschetta is quite yummy with its Kalamata tapenade.
As we entered the restaurant the waiter asked us if we wanted a table next to the guitarist. Of course we did. What a treat. Sitting in couches and lounge chairs next to the musician really sold me on the establishment’s name. This really is Halifax’s best bistro atmosphere. What does a bistro need? It needs plenty of outside light, comfortable seating, romantic candles and an intimate stage for local musicians. I’ll let you see for yourself how many of those things they have.
We ordered the bruschetta as an appetizer to tide us over before the burgers were ready. When you use olives or olive oil it is easy to overdo it but olives have a function similar to a sharp cheese – just the right amount and the flavour of the dish will explode like a firecracker. They used Kalamata olive tapenade with some roasted garlic which had just the right amount of bitterness to wake up the bread’s warm heartiness to your taste buds’ delight.
Fish burgers are hard to execute. It’s a delicate balance of tartar sauce, toppings and batter (if you go for batter) to augment the flavour and texture of the fish. Even if you get the equation of these three parts right you still need to make sure you don’t overcook or under-cook that fish. Le Bistro’s kitchen nailed it. The fish was soft and smooth enough that the tartar sauce turned it into a creamy delight for my palate. The batter offered that crispy sensation you want to contrast the smoothness of the fish. The toppings sounded like typical beef burger fare but boy did they work with the haddock. The sharpness of the cheddar just rolled through the whole burger bringing to my attention every unique part of the ensemble.
I was easily won over by Le Bistro. Thanks to Halifax Burger Week I discovered the joy of a new French inspired bistro. I hope that the week helped to raise a lot of money for Feed Nova Scotia and that it increased the exposure and business of Halifax’s great local restaurants like Le Bistro.