The Press Gang Restaurant & Oyster Bar

Address: 5218 Prince Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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Date / Time Visited: Evening, 2 September 2014

Genre: Maritime Formal Dining

Meals Served: Supper

Reservation: Yes

Here are some of our thoughts (please listen to the podcast for a complete description):

Ambiance / description of place / music / WIFI

Chris – A very historic feel, based on the stone structure and the strategic use of maritime memorabilia.  Great weight to the utensils.  I loved it! The place is dimly lit, so it was hard to take good pictures, although I’m sure that new iPhone 7 would do well… I can’t remember if there was music or Wi-Fi

Margaret – The restaurant’s location is in a historic stone building dating from 1759, 10 years after the founding of Halifax, the capital city of our home province.  The doors aren’t that tall as a lot of historic buildings in our part of the world have.  People must have been a lot smaller than they are now.  The building has a number of smaller rooms for dining as well as a bar area.

Press Gang - Interior 1

Press Gang – Interior 1

 

Press Gang - Interior 2

Press Gang – Interior 2

Greeting / reception

Chris – Very friendly

Margaret – Very nice, as Maritimers are known for

Press Gang - Wine Board

Press Gang – Wine Board

 

Press Gang - Wine Cellar

Press Gang – Wine Cellar

Menu prices

Chris – The list themselves as a formal dining place – the prices match!

Margaret – Very pricey but as Chris said, it is a formal dining establishment so prices reflect that.

Press Gang - Appetizer Menu

Press Gang – Appetizer Menu

 

Press Gang - Martini Menu

Press Gang – Martini Menu

Variety

Chris – A wide selection of dishes.  Even though our group treated this event as a tapas experience, we hardly put a dent in the array of choices.  There is a wide variety of wines and cocktails to choose.  The Scotch selection is admirable.  Even the oyster bar has a wide selection!

Margaret – The variety is nice and there is something for every palate.

Press Gang - Main Menu

Press Gang – Main Menu

 

Press Gang - Dessert Menu

Press Gang – Dessert Menu

Smell / look / taste of the various dishes

Some of the dishes that we sampled included:

  • Blueberry Cheesecake Parfait
  • Honey Glazed Premium NS Pork Belly
  • Lamb
  • Chicken
  • Napoleon
  • Nova Scotia Mussels
  • Panchette Crab Cakes
  • Striploin and King Crab Leg
  • Trio of Chocolate
  • Vanilla Espresso Martini
  • And many more!

Chris – We are going to break away from our regular format and simply talk about the richness of the experience.  Look at the pictures on the website to see what we had, but very quickly we had a wide range of appetizers, main courses, and desserts.  Every dish was flavourful, rich, and impeccably plated.  It was a treat for the senses – okay, maybe not touch (formal) and hearing (you probably shouldn’t hear your food, unless it’s the cracking of the King Crab leg).

Margaret – As you can see from the pictures, we ordered a lot of different menu items and got to taste everything.  We were treated to this magnificent meal by our Australian guests and this was a great place to showcase some of our Maritime foods.

Press Gang - Vanilla Espresso Martini

Press Gang – Vanilla Espresso Martini

 

Press Gang - Nova Scotia Mussels

Press Gang – Nova Scotia Mussels

 

Press Gang - Pan-Seared Digby Scallops

Press Gang – Pan-Seared Digby Scallops

Why we chose menu items

Chris – Everyone worked together to pick a wide variety of dishes that touched all major themes of beef, pork, seafood, etc.  I’m glad that we elected to go this way; we could try much more as a group than we could as individuals.

Margaret – There were so many things to choose from and with each of us ordering something different, we were able to experience many different tastes.

Press Gang - Honey Glazed Premium NS Pork Belly

Press Gang – Honey Glazed Premium NS Pork Belly

Press Gang - Lamb

Press Gang – Lamb

 

Press Gang - Meadowbrook Chicken

Press Gang – Meadowbrook Chicken

Service / wait staff knowledge

Chris – They knew their menu – wine and food – to perfection.  There was no hesitation when it came to the specials – some places the staff have to go back to ask, but not here.  The staff were also very helpful in helping us pick complimentary dishes.

Margaret – I concur, Chris!  As you would expect in a fine dining establishment, the food was superb and the staff, unobtrusive.

Press Gang - Panchette Crab Cakes

Press Gang – Panchette Crab Cakes

 

Press Gang - Striploin and King Crab Leg

Press Gang – Striploin and King Crab Leg

 

Press Gang - Can't remember, it may have been a salmon special

Press Gang – Can’t remember, it may have been a salmon special

Overall dining experience

Chris – Wow – for me, this was one of those special nights where everything came together.  Folks at the table next to us, however, did not appear to have the same experience.  They stated that they “saw” a mouse (no, not a mousse – no one shrieks for a mousse!)  Personally, I never saw a mouse, nor did any of my dining companions.  Is it possible – yes; after all, it is an old building.  Maybe it was the rat from Ratatouille checking on the dining experience… Nothing appeared astray for me, so I would definitely go back!

Margaret – This was a great night with my family and friends and it was a highlight of our friends’ visit.  My only complaint would be that there is a menu with items we wanted to try but were told we could only get those items at the bar.  I was not impressed with that since the bar was less than 10 m away from where I was sitting and the food all comes from the same kitchen.  I said ‘I’ll go sit at the bar, then, and bring the food back to the table”.  I didn’t do it but I would have!

Press Gang - Blueberry Cheesecake Parfait

Press Gang – Blueberry Cheesecake Parfait

 

Press Gang - Napoleon

Press Gang – Napoleon

 

Press Gang - Trio of Chocolate

Press Gang – Trio of Chocolate

Why we chose this place and would we go again?

Chris – Our guests chose this place.  I would go again, but I would want to save up before coming back!

Margaret – I have been here before so it wasn’t a surprise about the quality or cost of the food.  I would go again, especially for the Napoleon dessert.  It was delicious!! 

Press Gang - Vision

Press Gang – Vision

Closing comments

  • If you have any additional information about this place (Pinterest, Instagram, it’s now closed or changed names), please let us know. This goes double if you’ve eaten here!
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