Halifax, located in the W Hoboken, is one of the most inviting dining destinations you will ever experience. On the city’s restaurant scene since May, it has quickly become one of the area’s top spots. The menu has a distinctive farm and coastal touch influenced by cuisine from New England to the Mid-Atlantic. Halifax, named for the Nova Scotia city, is a creative collaboration of owner Michael Barry and executive chef Seadon Shouse.
Offering a magnificent, sweeping riverside view of New York City visible from all areas of the restaurant, the restaurant has a sleek, modern décor with relaxing, natural tones and very comfortable seating options (including its luxe bar). Tip: take advantage of the patio for delightful al fresco dining. The staff is gracious, helpful and very knowledgeable about the menu.
Chef Shouse has created selections that emphasize the finest ingredients and he incorporates fresh New Jersey produce into many of the menu items. He visits the local farmers markets twice weekly to purchase blueberries, garlic scapes, spring onions, golden beets, carrots, asparagus and tomatoes. In addition, Shouse’s recipes incorporate cheese sourced in the Garden State, from Valley Shepherd Creamery in Long Valley. The milk for Valley Shepherd Creamery’s artisanal cheeses come from sheep raised on the farm and some cheeses are made with a mix of sheep milk and local cows’ milk.
We immediately felt welcome. As we perused the menu, we enjoyed a special treat, popcorn dusted with smoked seaweed and horseradish. And their warm house baked Parker House rolls with sea salt butter are delectable.
We indulged in the tasting menu, which offers a wonderful variety of house specialties. For table sharing, there are house-cured and smoked meats and fish with an outstanding selection that includes smoked mussels, duck pate and country terrine served with crispy crostini. As a starter, Halifax presents savory smoked salmon or roasted asparagus with spring onion vinaigrette—made with spring onions from NJ farmers markets—poached egg, and Parmesan cheese. The clam chowder is flavored with smoked ham that delicately accents the creamy, yet light soup. We loved one of the signature entrees, the Maine lobster rigatoni: perfectly seasoned and garnished with lobster coral butter, trumpet mushrooms and lemon. And the smoked Amish chicken with toasted bread, pine nuts, scallions, currants and local greens, which are all from Newark’s Urbana Greens, showcases the restaurant’s impressive smoking technique.
Save room for dessert. You will want to indulge in pastry chef Stuart Marx’s items like the strawberry-rhubarb parfait with oat crumble, and white chocolate mousse or their blueberry sundae with cornmeal cookie and buttermilk ice cream.
The beverage program at Halifax is exceptional. We met the general manager, Katherine Teodosic, who creates a selection of specialty and classic cocktails that pair wonderfully with the menu. Teodosic uses seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh squeezed juices, local herbs and botanical, and a selection of locally distilled spirits. The fun cocktail, appropriately named Dr. Feelgood, incorporates blueberries from the Garden State. The beverage menu continues to impress with a well-selected wines from Long Island, Upstate New York and California and beers on tap from local breweries. The bar also stocks various beers from 902 Brewing Company, in Hoboken, and Departed Soles Brewing Co., in Jersey City.
Halifax has the ideal approach to culinary excellence: sourcing locally whenever possible and developing inspired cuisine that pleases people of all tastes. The restaurant’s dishes are a feast for the eyes and the palate. Your first trip will surely give you a reason to return.
225 River Street
All photos courtesy of Halifax.