Thursday, August 7, 2008


Since it opened in 2007, I have heard rave reviews about CUT- the newest RCR property. The restaurant offers diners a two-level structure of Steakhouse & Grill within the Halifax Courtyard Marriott. Executive Chef, Tahir Salamat began as apprentice in Pakistan before realizing his own vision of Asian inspired global cuisine with French influences.

On Sunday evening, I had the pleasure of dining at the downstairs Grill, whose menu consists of small plates.I went with a friend of mine and we decided to share four – two would have been enough.While the menu presents ‘small plates’, they were filling enough to serve as a meal, yet affordably priced.

Of the four plates, we started with the lobster poutine and Chapili kebabs. The poutine was simple, yet indulgent. Composed of the usual poutine fare: fries, cheese and gravy, it was elevated to a level of decadence. The lobster was juicy and sweet, while the halloumi cheese had just the right texture to match; slightly melted with a hint of salt and a chewy bite. This was blanketed in a light, yet creamy hollandaise sauce. The fries were some of the best that I’ve had in the city – hand cut, crispy outside and soft within, complemented by rich, beef-based gravy. The Chapli kebabs were served with plum tomato chutney.The term ‘chapli’ refers to the cut of the meat; minced beef fried flat on a griddle.The chutney, consisting of tender plum tomatoes, tart pomegranate seeds and caramelized onions, was set off by red onion for heat and crunch.

Next, we paired the duck leg confit with the cheese plate. The duck had a crispy skin enveloping its supple meat.The dish was served with two contrasting sauces: a smoky apple bourbon sauce with a hint of brown sugar, and a sharp orange marmalade, which was a touch bitter for my taste.The creamy, mild Gruyere and Gouda held their own next to the buttery meat, while we saved the blue cheese for the delicate walnut crisps; a classic combination.

The restaurant itself is a delightful space in which to spend an evening; warm cream and gold tones were matched with blond wood, while funky accents enhanced the eatery’s hip vibe. The music was a selection of manager’s mixes featuring Dave Matthews and Radiohead, Ben Harper and Bob Marley.Altogether, they were groovy tunes for a stylish place with real, cool, food.

5426 Portland Place
Phone: 902.429.5120

Open daily for Lunch: 12:00pm to 3:00 pm
Dinner: 5:00pm to 11:00 pm

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