Café 101
Holiday Inn Harbourview, 101 Wyse Rd.
Dartmouth 463-1100
www.hiharbourview.ca

Rating: *****
Dinner & drinks for two: $100
Signature Dish: Café 101 Chowder
Signature Drink: Red Wine

You might not expect to find exquisite food in a hotel restaurant, but Café 101 provides just that. Its short, tempting menu — divided by Beginnings, Middles and Endings — celebrates “local inspired contemporary cuisine.”

For our beginning we share the fresh-tasting, Calamari ($9), lightly battered and beautifully presented. With hints of ginger and lime, cilantro, a sweet and sour sauce and jalapeno puree, it’s the best calamari I’ve had in a while.

My Meadowbrook Pork Tenderloin ($21) is spectacular. With pulled pork and chunks of pork, pan-fried cornbread, red chips in a root beer reduction with an apple herb salad on top, it simply oozes flavour. The meat is fall-off-your-fork tender.

My pal’s Sambro Halibut ($25) tastes great. Poached in butter with a tomato confit, creamed crab, bacon and asparagus spears, cooked al dente, it’s a real treat.

Our only complaint is that we’re too full for dessert. Our server is fun and our wine (St. Famille’s Marechal Foch) is a smooth accompaniment to a memorable meal.

Dining out

LITERARY LUNCHEON Next Thursday from noon to 2 p.m. The Globe and Mail's John Doyle and author Silver Donald Cameron will read from their works and participate in a panel discussion at The Halifax Club. For reservations call 423.8460 or email reservations@halifaxclub.ns.ca

PARTY TIME Star Anise Vietnamese Noodles Restaurant, 1571 Barrington St., features two party menus — one at $8 per person and one at $10 per person, minimum 10 people. Call 422-2602 or visit www.staranisenoodle.com

In brief

EAST COAST LIVING magazine features many of the recipes from the Cutting Block section of the magazine on its website at www.eastcoastlivingmagazine.ca.

TIDEVIEW CIDER is celebrating two new products they compare to a “good, sparkling wine.” Raspberry Cider and Premium Draft Cider are now available.