Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Opening Night at Bear Restaurant

As you can probably tell by now, I get really excited about food. Yeah, I love good food in itself, but when paired with the buzz about a new restaurant and the excitement of an opening night, I am filled with tremendous anticipation.

The feeling for this particular resto started with a seedling back in June when I first saw the sign for Bear Restaurant on Barrington Street. Now, here's the background on this place. Bear is the flagship resto of Nova Scotian chef Ray Bear. Bear is known for his transformation of the restaurant, Gio, in the Prince George Hotel. Also an asset to Bear is the lead bartender, Tom Rubin who created a fantastic cocktail menu.

I've become accustomed to sharing small plates with friends recently, but on this visit, I wanted a whole meal to myself. When I talk about excitement, nothing can compare to the giddy feeling that touched every nerve in my body when I was handed the brand new menu to the brand new Bear.

Newfs look out. My meal for the evening was spectacular. As I perused the various offerings of lamb, steak and rabbit, my eyes zeroed in on a slightly unusual selection for a Haligonian menu. It goes as follows; (oh, and make sure to wipe the drool off your computer screen when I'm done) Butter poached lobster tail, with salt cod brandade, sweet corn and...wait for it, scruncheons!! The premise might sound a little odd to non-native Newfoundlanders, but there's nothing like a piece of crispy, salty fried pork fat. I was overjoyed when I saw this description and closed my menu immediately, decision made.

The lobster meat was luscious and sweet with a rich tint of butter, while the concept of creamy mashed potatoes were given new life when mixed with herbs and salted cod. The yellow corn added a touch of sweetness and a lovely contrast to the scruncheons's salty bite.

For another little bite at the end of the meal, we shared a cheese plate. Bear does this course a little differently than most restos, allowing you choose from around 20 different cheeses, while paying by he ounce. We went with a pungent St. Benedictine blue, a nutty St. Andre, and a creamy Ash Brie. These were complimented with a variety of sweet and fruity bites!

Bear Restaurant
1241 Barrington St.

425.BEAR (2327)


Brewnoser said...

Nice work! I was there the same night. Over in the corner with the rowdies. My blog of the evening is a bit different.... I linked to yours.

Have you been since the staff changes? I hear they are though two managers already.

Michelle said...

Bear is an amazing restaurant. I visited recently solo and sat at the kitchen bar. What an experience. The food was amazing and the atmosphere divine. I had the beef which melted in my mouth. To finish..i did the cheese plate also. Its my new #1 spot in Halifax.