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The Bistro – New Glasgow

6 Jun

After our wildly popular and much debated post on Pictou County pizza, we have decided to return to PC to check out some of the other dining options.  If a slice isn’t what you’re in the mood for and it’s a special occasion or you’re just looking to treat yourself, you really can’t do any better than The Bistro.

Owned and operated by chef Rob and host Heather, The Bistro has become the jewel of Pictou County fine dining.  Centrally located on Archimedes Street, it is fairly unassuming from the outside, but warm and welcoming on the inside.  This perfectly reflects Rob and Heather’s approach to the dining experience: don’t put on airs, just deliver the best possible dining experience in a comfortable environment.

And do they deliver!  Heather is very knowledgeable on a wide range of wines and cocktails, making sure that your meal is perfectly complemented.  Rob changes his menu seasonally, and we’ve noted that since our last visit he has made considerable effort to source his food locally.

You get what you pay for at the Bistro, so expect to treat yourself.  With that said, we recommend starting with what is probably the most bang for your buck item on the menu, the tomato feta soup with basil ($6).  Entrees range from $19-$36, but if you warmed up with the soup, we suggest going for the gusto with your main course.  The beef tenderloin with your choice of port peppercorn sauce or chevre & onion ($34) and the rack of lamb crusted with lemon, oregano and garlic ($36) are definite standouts on this menu.  You also have the option of trying one of the pastas that fall in the $12-$19 range.

There is a dessert selection for every sweets preference, including chocolate, apple cinnamon and fresh berries.  We fed our crème brulée addiction and were very satisfied.  You will never be disappointed at the Bistro but remember to come expecting to spend some money to treat yourself and book early as this place is popular!

Pictou County Pizza

24 May

I am fully aware of the fact that people everywhere, and I mean around the world everywhere, make bold claims that the pizza from their hometown is the best pizza you could possibly find.  This is not something that’s unique to people from Pictou County.  What IS unique to people from Pictou County, is that when they say it, they’re telling the truth.

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In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that this half of The Local Traveler is from Pictou County.  But that changes nothing.  It IS the best pizza in the world.  There are blogs, facebook pages and Kijiji posts dedicated to it.  At least two restaurants in Halifax have put Pictou County Pizza on their menu to attract the many PC ex-pats (and others in the know) through their doors.  It has been shipped around the world from Fort McMurray to Afghanistan.  Pizza Hut once tried to set up shop in New Glasgow.  It didn’t last very long.

What makes PC pizza so good?  The reasons are fourfold.  First of all, the bread is thick and chewy.  None of this thin crust foolishness.  We PCers like our pizza to have some substance.  Secondly, we don’t mess around with no generic red sauce on our ‘za.  Spicy brown sauce only.

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Note the spicy brown sauce.

Then, it gets loaded with thick slices of Brothers pepperoni.  Every self-respecting pepperoni pizza should have enough of a meat buffer so that no cheese comes near the dough.  And finally, the donair sauce.  Yes, you can find this anywhere in Nova Scotia (the rest of the world is only now catching on to this awesome flavour medley).  But in PC, we don’t coat.  We dip.

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Note the abundance of Brothers pepperoni.

That brings us to which Pictou County pizza establishment to try.  Here is where is gets complicated, but in my opinion, it really doesn’t need to be.  You have plenty of choices.  Alice’s, Andre’s, Acropole New Glasgow, Acropole Westville, Sam’s in Abercrombie, Sam’s in Trenton, Sam’s in Stellarton, Sam’s in New Glasgow.  PC residents argue vehemently over which is the best, comparable only to how they argue over hockey teams during the playoffs.  But to be honest, they are all relatively the same, unless you have the practiced palette of a born and bred PCer.

Legend has it that they are all the result of three Greek brothers who came to Pictou County and set up a pizza shop.  The current crop of pizza shops are run by them and their offspring.*  So, the recipe for the pizza, pizza sauce and donair sauce is all the same.  That said, for a slice, Acropole in New Glasgow is the best and for a full pizza, Sam’s in Abercrombie is the best.

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*This is what I’ve been told over the years.  Please send any info you might have on the history of Pictou County pizza to localtravelerns@gmail.com or post it in the comments section.  PS: the use of the word “legend” gives me license to make up whatever I want about it.

Glasgow Square

21 Nov

As a more than occasional event planner, it is always exciting to experience a new venue. That excitement is tenfold when the reason for experiencing a new venue is due to a gathering of some top-notch local musicians. Such was the case Friday night when we headed to The Green Room in Glasgow Square for the intimate CD release of local musician Steven Bowers.

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The Dock

20 Jul

Located in downtown New Glasgow, The Dock is a popular local restaurant and bar perfect for a not-too-formal, not-too-fancy family get together. I say popular based on an educated guess – it is not always easy to get a table at peak meal times, and even in the lower hours the place is rarely empty.

On our most recent trip, we tried out the chowder with some summer refreshments – Garrison nut brown for him and the house white for me. It was my first time at The Dock since I learned I couldn’t eat Gluten, and I was a bit disappointed with the lack of options, despite our waitress’s superb effort to find something I could eat. In the end, I settled for just the wine.

While I couldn’t have the chowder, it received top reviews from my counterpart. It was rich and creamy with generous amounts of seafood, and the nut brown was a perfect complement. A great choice for a cool summer day like we had on Saturday.

Prices:

Appetizers: $3.95 – $11.95

Mains: $10.95 – $19.95

Drinks: $4.50 +

We recommend: The sweet potato fries, chowder and the blackened spiced Cajun chicken penne (although not necessarily together)