Our first experience with Rhubarb was a month ago. We were celebrating Valentines Day a little early at The Westin Nova Scotian. The Westin has an “Eat, Laugh, and Stay” package that they organize for special events. This particular time, the package featured a chocolate turndown service.
The Westin Nova Scotian has been working hard to support local food producers. Rhubarb had just launched a new line of hand made chocolates. Match made in romance heaven.
The chocolates are made by Kate Melvin. She creates and sells them at Rhubarb’s Back Door Bakeshop in a range of flavours – Salted Caramels, Milk & Dark Chocolates with Almond or Pecan Brittle.
Last week we stayed at Oceanstone Resort. During the planning, we found out that what we were then calling that yummy little chocolate place in Peggy’s Cove was located on-site at Oceanstone.
The two businesses are independently owned, but well paired. Like the rooms at the resort, Rhubarb is warm and inviting. They have mastered the art of romantic dining – dimmed lights, candles, a well-curated drink list, and sultry live music.
Rhubarb feels akin to visiting the home of that one friend we all have who lives for hosting. We were greeted at the door by Diane, one of the owners, who took our coats and brought us to our table. There were a few nice surprises right away. Their drink menu features Hell Bay on tap, a rare find around Halifax. They also use the Liverpool beer to create a line of Hell Bay Caramels that are available at the front of the restaurant. The rest of their drink line-up is equally impressive: Boxing Rock, Bulwark Cider, Ironwork Distillery, Grand Pre Wines, and Glen Breton Whiskey.
We started with an appetizer called Mother Mai I and mussels with fries. The former is a hummus dish served with fried pizza dough and stuffed olives. I ate all the olives, dipping them in the hummus and watched with envy while Drew got to eat those heavenly little balls of fried dough.
Okay, I wasn’t watching him that closely, but mostly because I commandeered the mussels. They were steamed in Hell Bay Brewery’s pale ale. The fries were hand cut, seasoned with salt and pepper and served with ketchup.
For the main course we had two totally different, totally local dishes. Drew had the crispy haddock, a pan-fried fillet served on top of a salad of cucumber, tomato, and chickpeas. That night, our fish came from Sambro, the same local spot we picked up our yummy Valentines Day treat.
Our server was delightful. She narrated our meal, adding in bits and facts about the restaurant, our food, and the area. She told us that Rhubarb also sources fish from Yarmouth, and when lobster’s on the menu, they get it from a fisherman just down the road. It doesn’t get much fresher than that!
I had the braised brisket. Ohhhhh the braised brisket. Rhubarb tries to source beef locally when possible, and that night my succulent, fall apart, melt in your mouth brisket came from Oultons Farm. Rhubarb Restaurant braises that beef in a secret sauce that includes Propeller root beer.
I tapped out by dessert, so Drew picked up the slack…
And finished with a coffee, a special blend from Java Blend made for Rhubarb.
Before leaving, I got to chat with chef Jon Geneau. It turns out that Rhubarb not only serves a mean, locally sourced meal, they do a lot to support their community. They have a ‘Donaitor’ program. $1 from every donair pizza sold goes towards a hot lunch program at East St Margarets School (located just across the street). They don’t just give money, they get the kids involved! This month, they worked with kids at the school to create artwork. Today (March 7th) until March 30th, their art will be displayed at Rhubarb. Patrons will bid on the art, with the proceeds being split between the school swim program and a St Margarets Bay charity of the kids’ choice.
Rhubarb is a must if you are staying at Oceanstone, but it would also make a fantastic surprise date or family dinner. Photos just can’t do Oceanstone and Rhubarb justice. Check out our video below for clips of the sunset drive, dinner, and accommodations.
We love our little corner of the world dearly, and we want to show you as many amazing things to see and do here as we can. Thanks to Rhubarb Restaurant for inviting us to dine with them. It’s a huge help in enabling us to continue providing posts on amazing places close to home. The opinions in this post are, as always, our own.