Local culinary celebrity Craig Flinn (he’s a regular guest on the popular CBC Radio call in show, Maritime Noon, where he dispenses cooking advice) is infatuated with the products of Nova Scotia. And you will be, too, after dining here. The menu—it begins with a list of farms…a long list—changes daily, based on what’s freshest in the market and what came in off the fishing boats. His signature chicken dish, for example, is named for the farm where it was raised, and the kitchen uses quark from the local Fox Hill Cheese farm to create a delicious ravioli to go with it. A summer salad could be a mighty stack of grilled local melon, apple, Dragon’s Breath blue cheese (made in Nova Scotia), and house-made pancetta. Expect one main course each of lobster, scallops, chicken, beef, lamb, and vegetables. The atmosphere is casual fine dining, the décor of earth tones and textures in a space that once was a bank building on Barrington Street, the main thoroughfare through downtown.
Chef Flinn runs two other notable eateries. His Ciboulette Café (www.ciboulette.ca; phone 902/423-5282), a swell pick for breakfast or lunch; and 2 Doors Down ★★ (www.go2doorsdown.com; phone 902/424-4224), a supper spot . Both are top notch in their category, more affordable than the flagship restaurant, and both are next door to Chives and run by the same talent.