Welcome To Our First-Ever Studio East BLOG! We have a lot happening “behind the line” these days, and our team decided that a blog would be a fun way to keep YOU in the loop about what is new and upcoming at Studio East Halifax!
We are excited to start a conversation with Haligonians about all the things we believe in. Not just serving you great-tasting food and drinks, but using healthier, more nutritious, more sustainable options to do it, while growing our team and showing our community what a top
restaurant in Halifax is capable of.
To do that, we have just launched our new & improved website, with more stories about our Studio East Team, so our guests can get to know us underneath the apron, while of course keeping our dinner & drinks menu up-to-date. You can also reserve a table or order food online!
And don’t fret if you are craving the Studio Tacos but live too far away to walk, or your car broke down and its just been one of those days and the only thing that will make it better is our Fish Curry Ramen, because ever since February, we now do food delivery within 20 km Halifax & Dartmouth!!! If you can’t come to us, we will bring the food to you!
So, the purpose of this first blog post is to catch you up on what has been happening over the past few months and to (hopefully) spark interest in what will be coming soon!
First things first: Our patio is open! Hurrah for warm weather! Our bar & patio opens at 4:00 Tuesday-Sunday (weather permitting) during the summer. Welcome Halifax patio season!!!
Now, you already know owners Ray Bear & Saronn Pov, but what you may or may not know is that last spring, they started their own farm.
It’s called Kisik Ridge Estates, it’s on the Bay of Fundy, and on Mother’s Day, a new litter of Mangalitsa piglets were born!
Ray & Saronn are always back and forth from the farm to the restaurant, raising pigs, growing produce, creating delicious new dishes and putting together an awesome team of people to help bring their vision to life.
The farm uses the practices of permaculture, which is all about protecting and working with nature instead of trying to dominate it. Animals are essential to the fertilization of the land, you won’t find any pesticides at Kisik Ridge. The balance between us & nature is extremely
important, to protect the environment and also to provide food security for our guests.
The term farm-to-table has become increasingly popular. It essentially means that a restaurant gets part of their supplies from a farm one town over instead of three provinces away. It’s an important movement because we all want to support local farmers and producers and feel
secure about where our food comes from.
Here at Studio East, we went a step beyond that, we are proud of being the first full-service restaurant in Halifax to own our own farm!
And starting in July, you can visit us for an intimate dinner retreat with Chef Ray Bear & Saronn Pov at Kisik Ridge. Our guests will have a beautiful rustic view of the farm fields and the Bay of Fundy, you can even visit the pigs! We can’t wait to share this unique outdoor fine dining experience with you. Keep an eye out on our Order Online for more information and ticket availability.
But the farm is only one of the many things we will be diving deeper into on this blog. This post is like a flight of beer, just a taster of things to come 😉
On that note, we will be learning about SUPERFOODS, foods that are packed full to burst with nutrition as well as flavour. We have all heard the term thrown around, and seen it pop up on TV or at the grocery store. Well, there is a reason for that. Superfoods are good for you in all sorts of ways, and we already use many in our dishes!
Our Mangalitsa pigs can be raised all throughout the year (they don’t mind winter too much) and their pork tastes like a cross between pork & beef, and their fat is cholesterol free!
We use kimchi in many of our dishes, a fermented food that is very good for digestion. We have already mentioned gochujang, which has anti-obesity properties. We make our own curry paste from scratch, including cutting up fresh lemongrass, which is known to lower cholesterol, detoxify the body and have antifungal, bacterial & microbial properties, to name a few!
Our fryer uses only quality sunflower oil, which is a much healthier option and reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol.
We are currently in the process of experimenting with fermenting the watercress that grows so abundantly at the farm. One our servers, Jess, is spearheading that project.
She has never worked with watercress before and is having a blast using different forms and mediums to see what works, what is best for enhancing, preserving and optimizing flavour and nutrition while prolonging shelf life and maximizing on our use of this amazing wild green.
She has been playing with the whole watercress versus finely chopped, using different brines and lengths of fermenting times, using it whole or in a paste with kimchi or other veggie ferments. She’s using hot chillies, trying out infused vinegars. In the end, we’ll have sauces, salsas, rubs and/or vinaigrettes – basically whatever our talented kitchen can dream up!
Jess is loving being able to use the wild green months after its harvesting prime while getting creative with what nature has to offer, all at the same time promoting our microbial health! Talk about farm-to-table superfoods & teamwork!!!
Moving forward, you will see more dinner features that incorporate everything we will be talking about. From superfoods to fermentation, to cultivating our kitchen staff’s creativity using Asian-styled spices and local foods.
We recently featured a Scallop Ceviche on sushi with jackfruit, radish, avocado and watercress (yes, the watercress is from Kisik Ridge!)
Our burger during Burger Week this year was a huge success! The Mangasalita Burger featured our Kisik Ridge free-range Mangalitsa pork grilled over charcoal to order, with lemongrass, free-range chicken pate, crispy bacon, cheddar and mozzarella, local daikon slaw, fresh local apple, gochujang mayo, fresh Thai basil & cilantro. The Banh Mi inspired flavours brought Asian-fusion to a whole other level, and Halifax agreed – in the end, we sold 801 burgers!
And of course, we are all about the food, but we are also all about great drinks! We feature a Wine of the Month in collaboration with local wineries.
This month is the 2017 Estate L’Acadie Organic from L’Acadie Vineyards. And because we are so pumped about all this nice weather we are FINALLY getting, we have a second wine feature this month, the Benjamin Bridge Pet NAT.
On June 6, our bartenders Jill and Sara took part in a Functional Flair Workshop put on by the Drink Atlantic Cocktail Festival, so after a bit of practice on our part, be prepared to see us attempting a little more of a show while we prepare to shake your cocktails!
Speaking of, Jill has came up with an excellent Feature Cocktail of the Month. The Drunk Flamingo is a fun new version of a mojito, but with Rhubarb which is very in season right now! Sweet, a little tart, and super refreshing!
And of course, we can’t forget about Halifax’s love of craft beer! We have two rotating taps that are constantly changing so we can try new beers from local breweries, six taps in total! (Don’t forget Halifax, happy hour is every day until 6 pm, and Sunday is happy hour all night!)
And this is just the start!
We are so excited to share with you who we are and what we do. All of these things really highlight the collaborative spirit that Studio East is all about. We have so many ideas, ideals, visions for the future! We are in the process of really growing our team and working with the talents of our employees beyond what you see day to day.
You will find more information about our amazing team members HERE.
Here at Studio East, we are passionate about what we do, and about how we do it. It’s time that Nova Scotians really became aware that what we do matters. The choices we make, the food we buy; it all makes a difference. As consumers, we are the ones who hold the power. At Studio East, we want to inspire excitement about choosing local, secure, nutritious foods.
We’re not a Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Indian, steak, or vegan restaurant, but we do all of these things really well. There’s something for everyone. We love bringing people together over great food.
You will find no food-shaming here. Everyone is welcome, no matter your beliefs or what food- allergies you may have. We support vegans and vegetarians, are keto-friendly and have a wide
selection of gluten free items.
Food is a huge part of our culture and our community, everything connects back to nature and the environment. We can’t truly have a conversation about one without the others. We want to beat the stigma that meat is bad! Animals are so important to fertilization and creating balance, but you have to be aware of what you are putting into your body as well.
The purpose of this blog is to educate, bring awareness and inspire action (along with drooling over mouth watering food). It’s one of the ways we strive to be one of the best restaurants in Halifax!
We want to inspire Haligonians to celebrate a lifestyle that is healthy, sustainable AND delicious. We are ready for the challenge, are you?
We are aiming to create a monthly blog, to get in deep and dirty with our staff, our ideals and our goals, and will be sending an email newsletter to keep you in the loop. Sign up HERE.
Throughout the rest of the month, stay up-to-date with our social media posts on Instagram & Facebook.
We’ll see you soon for dinner, Halifax!