I love going out to dinner. Thatâ€™s probably why I do it so much. I really enjoy an inventive menu with well-executed dishes, all featured in a fantastic space with hospitable people welcoming you. The one thing I enjoy more than all of thisâ€”is all of this in a brand new restaurant. There is an excitement that comes with dining out at a restaurant for the very first time. So, when I heard about the Dickie Baxter Taproom and Bistroâ€”now open in nearby Canningâ€”I was thrilled when we were able to get a reservation.
The restored circa 1852 house is the home for this amazing new venue. At first we were struck by the exterior of this fine restoration but once inside it was very apparent that weâ€™d left the 19th century well behind us. Bright white walls, clean crisp lines, and a fresh dÃ©cor with engaging artwork brought us into a modern, stylish, 21st century restaurant.
I had visited their website before arriving so I had an idea of what I was going to try on their menu, but then we were seated and met Clareâ€”our server. Clare shared with us the specials for the evening and suddenly our decision-making took on a much higher degree of difficulty. I literally wanted to try everything. Clare was exactly the kind of server youâ€™d expect in a restaurant like Dickie Baxter Taproom and Bistroâ€”knowledgeable, attentive, charming, and respectful of our dining experience and conversation, yet always there when you need something. This level of professionalism is a rare commodity and Iâ€™m always happy when I find it where Iâ€™m dining.
I know Iâ€™ve chatted about the space and service and youâ€™re likely wondering if Iâ€™m going to talk about the food. Chef Wayne is at the helm at Dickie Baxter Bistro and Taproom and he is steering it in a most delicious direction. His cooking experience at dining establishments in the Caribbean and all over the Maritimes is initially seen in the wonderfully eclectic menu, but when you actually get to try the foodâ€”thatâ€™s when it becomes apparent that youâ€™re in the company of a world-class chef. I tried the beef tenderloin with charcoal spice, sauteed portobello mushrooms and Worcestershire gastrique. The mushrooms were a punch of flavour smothered in the gastrique but the tenderloin was definitely the star of the show. It quite literally melted in your mouth. I know people say that a lot but this actually did. Another guest at our table also had the tenderloin and mentioned that heâ€™d recently had a steak dinner at a very well-known Halifax fine-dining destination and the one prepared by Chef Wayne was better. Other diners at our table enjoyed the maple glazed salmon and the BBQ chicken. They each raved about the deep rich flavours of both of these dishes and the gorgeous presentation.
And no discussion of a meal is complete without at least a mention of the dessert offerings. I had to try the spiced apple cake with spiced rum butterscotch drizzle. Every word in that name was mouth watering and the dessert itself did not disappoint. I will admit my eye wandered over the table at the Tammyâ€™s chocolate torteâ€”rich dark chocolate with raspberry coulisâ€”but I was very happy with my ultimate selection. I finished off the evening with a glass of port from their great selection of drinks and cocktails.
So if you are, like I was, suffering from dining withdrawal then you only need two things to have a spectacular evening (or lunch or brunch?â€”which Iâ€™ll be back for soon) at Dickie Baxter Bistro and Taproomâ€”a good appetite and a reservation. Maybe Iâ€™ll see you there. Cheers.
Dickie Baxter Taproom & Bistro
9809 Main Street, Canning, NS B0P1H0
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