Sunday, November 12, 2006

Halifax Tourist Whirlwind Recount

As I mentioned in my last posting, my sister and her best friend were here for the weekend. They arrived on Thursday morning, and the hubby and I just got back from dropping them off at the airport. Those two are hilarious! They're so fun & social, love to party, and man can they shop! Having four people in our little apartment was actually totally fine, and apparently the futon was comfortable after all.

We fit a ton of stuff into four days, let me tell you (with plenty of time for naps...those two are big nappers!) We hit the bars just about every night (the hubby and I took Friday night off, as I'm sick), shopped all day Friday, did the market, the Keith's brewery tour, the ferry & the Lower Deck on Saturday, and went to Peggy's Cove, MicMac Mall & our favourite restaurant in the whole wide world for dinner today (more on that in a minute). I don't think that we could have fit much more in, and the girls left quite satisfied. They both talked all day about transferring schools and moving to Halifax...wouldn't that be awesome? We've got converts!

I think one of the funniest things was the fact that everywhere they went, they met people who were from Mississauga (where they live back in Ontario.) We went to Tim Horton's this morning on our way out to Peggy's Cove, and the guy who made our bagels was from Lorne Park (a neighbourhood in Mississauga.) This happened everywhere, and it was so funny. You'd think that there would be more Maritimers in the Maritimes! But they got treated well everywhere they went, despite the sometimes not-so-subtle anti-Ontario (esp. anti-Toronto) bias out here. I'm so glad that they had a good time, and I'm sad to see them go. Even though our apartment is pretty tiny, it feels kind of empty now.

As for dinner tonight, we got a chance to expose more people to the best Italian food you've had in Canada (I can't claim it's the best Italian food in the world, because I haven't been to Italy yet, but it's amazing all the same.) It's called Rocco's, and it's in the bottom of the Quality Inn on Prince Albert St. in Dartmouth. It sounds like a weird, sketchy location (it is), but you will be blown away by the decor, the service, and the food. The restaurant is small, intimate, and gorgeous- hand-painted murals on the walls, heavy linens, beautiful terra cotta floors, candlelight- and the service is the best you've ever had. It was voted one of the best restaurants for its wine list by The Coast newpaper this week.

The main server is named Stephen, and you have never had a waiter like this. Stephen is a very posh Scottish man with the loveliest voice I've heard in a long time. He was raised in Canada, so his accent is subtle, but you can tell just from his voice and manner that he comes from the upper echelons of Scottish society. He can be a bit formal at times (his upbringing, he tells us), but he is passionate about giving good service, and you've never had anything like it. He is friendly and unpretentious, but still oh so classy, and he makes eating at Rocco's an experience. Someone who likely doesn't need to work for money (he hinted at quite a privileged family) must be really passionate about his job to do it this well. And how often do you feel the need to talk this much about a server at a restaurant? He makes that kind of impression. He tells us that he's started forcing himself to insert a few curse words into his conversation now and again just to loosen himself & his guests up, but it makes him blush. How adorable is that?

And the food....oh, the food. I think that next time, I'm just going to open the menu and point at random, because the food at Rocco's is never anything but perfect, so it doesn't really matter what you order. One thing, though, is imperative. You must order the caesar salad to start, because when you do, Stephen will wheel over a cart of the freshest ingredients and proceed to make you the most delicious caesar salad that you have ever tasted right at your table, and to your exact specifications. We love ours heavy on the garlic and parmesan cheese, and I could eat just that for dinner and be completely satisfied. I CRAVE Rocco's caesar salad all the time, but because it's far and not super inexpensive ($9 for the salad alone), it's a once-in-a-while treat. It was so worth it today.

This was an awesome weekend. And it's not over yet! Yea for Nova Scotia Remembrance Day long weekend!


Purple said...

I did the Keith's Brewery tour as well, while on a cruise for a friend's wedding. Did you enjoy it?

Melissa said...

It was fun. :) Lots of jokes. The going back in time premise is a bit corny, admittedly, but the tour as a whole was really interesting. And Jonathan was happy to get to try the new Keith's Red, of course.

Purple Mangos said...

I probably would have enjoyed it more if I drank beer. lol. I did like the singing, though. I'm very much a sing-along type of person.

Btw, may I put a link to your blog on mine?

Melissa said...

Of course you can link to it. I always wonder who (if anyone!) is reading it, so the more the merrier. Not a fan of beer?

Purple Mangos said...

Can't stand the smell of beer. Of course, I redeem myself by drinking single-malt scotch. lol.