Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Our New Neighbourhood - The Hydrostone

Saturday was a perfect day. We found a wonderful place to live and will be moving in early August. Hooray!!! Now don't get too excited, it's not the whole building, but it's a bright corner top floor unit in this converted and restored convent gone condo. I love the open plan living, dining and kitchen area with bright big dormer windows. The only drawback...no balcony, so no barbecuing. I'll just have to get an indoor grill, but it will be worth it.

I want to introduce you all to my new and fabulous neighbourhood. The Hydrostone is an area in North Halifax that was destroyed in 1917 by a huge explosion. This area in particular was rebuilt using hydro-stone concrete blocks brought in from Chicago. Streets have tree lined courts between the rows of houses (unusual for its time). It's lovely, peaceful and well cared for. You can see the pride of ownership everywhere. Not to mention lots of green spaces, including a lush wooded park I'll have to explore. You can actually see the Halifax Harbour if you look between trees.

But most important for a foodie...is the Hydrostone Market. I'll be waxing rhapsodic for a long time. Two restaurants have won Where to Eat In Canada Awards year after year....I haven't tried Epicurious Morsels yet, but I will be having the lobster strudel I noticed on the menu! I did have the most delicious pizza at Salvatore's Pizzaiolo Trattoria....perfect thin crust. I mean it! One thing I missed since arriving in Halifax was the thin crusted pizzas I used to enjoy in Toronto. I thought it would be like Montreal's Yangtze egg rolls - unique to the city and only enjoyed on a visit "home".

Not true! We shared two pizzas between the three of us -
Clam Pie Marinato "thin crust brushed with garlic infused extra virgin olive oil, edged with cornmeal and layered with mozzarella, covered with baby clams marinated in extra-virgin olive oil, fresh parsley and garlic, freshly grated Parmesan and herbs". That's the description on the menu and it is as sublime as it sounds.
Roasted Garlic with Sauteed Mushrooms " Salvatore's traditional tomato sauce, roasted garlic, sauteed mushrooms, Romano cheese, freshly grated Parmesan, herbs and a hint of cayenne". Don't they sound wonderful? I can assure you, they tasted even better.

The unbelievable chocolate chip cheesecake (and others) is made by Michelle, wife to Chris (aka Salvatore) and there are no words...you'll just all have to come for a taste.

There's a lovely yarn shop (more sweaters for Boaz), a spa (what else is there to say) and Julien's - an awesome bakery that rivals any I've tried...baguettes, pain chocolat (that really taste as good as the ones in Montreal), hearty whole grain breads, gorgeous french pastries I will try to avoid (but probably won't be able to) and a wonderful patio to relax on and enjoy it all. That's Topiary, a shop for gardeners, in the background.

A two minute drive takes us to G. Abato & Sons Italian Market. Walls of imported extra virgin olive oils, cheeses, vinegars, take out and so much more. I'll be there often, to be sure.

In fact I bought some jars of grilled & marinated artichoke hearts as well as some tuna in olive oil (imported from Italy - Alleggia is the brand and if you find it...stock up!) and came home to make this awesome (at least we thought so)....


Shrimp, Chorizo & Portobello Pizza

The pizza was inspired by our visit to Salvatore's, and will do if you can't find your way to the Hydrostone Market. As for me...I'll only be settling for the real thing before you know it.

Well, that's it for now. Don't you love my new neighborhood? I do and I haven't even moved in yet.

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13 comments:

Heather said...

Oh my goodness. You've made me unbelievably hungry, and now I shall have to raid the fridge for cheeses, I think. Best of luck in your new home---it sounds positively idyllic!

katiez said...

How exciting! I LOVE your new neighborhood... and the new digs!
The shops look wonderful! How fun to have all that to explore - and you should still have good weather to do it in!

Kitt said...

Congratulations on your new home! it looks lovely and unique. I hope you'll post some interior shots, too. And isn't it nice to have wonderful new food places to try? (I just moved, too, and find all the new eating and shopping opportunities a real bonus.)

Almost Vegetarian said...

Your new neighborhood looks just gorgeous. And that house ... I can envision lovely teas on the lawn then a leisurely afternoon browsing the shops. What fun.

Cheers!

Kalyn said...

Ruth, it truly does sound like such a charming neighborhood. I'm happy for you. Too bad about the grilling, but those stove-top cast-iron grill pans are pretty great too!

Ruth Daniels said...

Ladies, thank you all for dropping by. I wish I could have you all over for tea in person, but I guess the blog will have to do for now.

traveller one said...

The house looks completely charming and the neighbourhood will enchant you I'm sure!

Sara said...

Ruth what an amazing looking place. Great area too! I hope you and your husband will be happy there. That is too bad about no balcony. Is there any sort of common area you could have a small grill at the back?

Nora B. said...

It's good to see that you have many nice shops and restaurant near your new home to explore. You must tell us more about the lobster strudel when you try it.

Alisha said...

I love the look of your new home and neighborhood! Sounds like a perfect place to live. (Can I move?? LOL)

Paige said...

We'll have to do lunch sometime after I've gotten back to Halifax. Have you been to Jane's or Chives yet?

Ruth Daniels said...

Sara...no balcony, but lots of parks in the neighborhood and lots of sidewalk patios at the restaurants in the Hydrostone market.

Nora..I still haven't had the lobster strudel. It's still crazy busy settling in. You can be sure I'll write about it though.

Alisha...we do have very comfy air mattresses for guests ;-)

Paige...I'm looking forward to getting together. When do you get back?

Alexandra said...

Welcome to the Hydrostone. You will love it, I'm sure. A couple of things to note:
1) There actually WAS a Salvatore who started the pizza restaurant. I knew him, and out of respect thought you should know. He sold the restaurant and died fairly recently.
2) Epicurious Morsels is FANTASTIC. Yes, the lobster strudel is delish. But my fave are the wild mushroom risotto cakes (sex on a plate) and the Shaker Lemon Pie. Not for the faint of heart, it's pate brisee crust is filled with chewy, lemon mouth "pow!" I strongly recommend it for brunch! Enjoy!