I love birthdays. I enjoy buying presents for people and wrapping them up into beautiful parcels to present to them on their special day. I (obviously) also relish the dining aspect of birthdays; whether it’s a simple cake or an elaborate 5-course meal, I love the celebration that’s involved and making the Bday boy/girl feel special.
And I love it when it’s MY birthday! I’m one of those people whose birthday falls right on the cusp of the Christmas season. That’s right – my bday falls within the 12 days of Christmas, on January 5th. When I was younger, I always guilt-tripped my parents into a really good birthday present. Of course, I did offer the obligatory, “thanks mom for your 9 months of incubation, labour and putting up with me during my teens”, but I also got away with making my birthday last a whole week instead of just one day.
I’ve since met a little bird who makes her Bday last a whole month – but that’s another story all together! This broad did help me celebrate one of my birthday days, as did my colleagues, and then my boyfriend’s colleagues… 4 birthday cakes/desserts in all! Needless to say, I was birthday’d out by mid-January, so I think a week’s worth of celebrating is still fine enough for me.
When we arrived at 8:30 pm on the Saturday night following my Bday, we started off with some tasty cocktails. I had the Patsy ($11) with citadelle gin, St. Germain elderflower, rosemary syrup, lemon and sparkling wine, while Mitch had the Winter Mojito ($10.50) with amber rum, muddled limes, fresh mint, drunken cranberries and soda. I think my drink was so delicious because it combined some of my favorite bevys all-in-one; gin, St. Germain and sparkling wine.
As we sipped, we put in some orders for appetizers to share; the Vinaigrette Caesar ($9) and the Stuffed Portobello Cap ($9). I’d had the Caesar before and it’s my favorite one in Halifax. Made with a light, lemony vinaigrette as opposed to a heavy creamy dressing, the simple flavours really stand out here. The portobello mushroom cap was delicious – I had a hard time passing the plate over. The tender mushroom was topped with creamy melted bocconcini cheese, a smokey roasted tomato and an inventive pesto.
Caesar w/ smoked bacon, sourdough croutons & preserved lemon
Stuffed Portobello Cap
w/ wood-fired Portobello mushroom, bocconcini cheese,
artichoke cashew pesto, slow cooked tomato & herbs
With the appetizers cleared away, there was just a minute’s wait before our pizzas arrived. They were huge – divvied up into 6 slices each. I knew what I wanted days before; the mushroom pizza ($16) with 3 different mushrooms and truffle oil. Mitch ordered the Off The Bone ($18) with 3 kinds of meat and house smoked cheddar. The pizza crusts were soft and irresistible. Once the toppings were gone, I drizzled the crust in Morris East’s chili oil and enjoyed every last crumb. We swapped several slices before packing up a couple to go.
Off The Bone
braised pork, Oulton’s Farm sausage, sopressata,
house smoked cheddar, Propeller Bitter Tomato Sauce
portobello, button & oyster mushroom, garlic,
Parmesean, microgreens & truffle oil
Rich Chocolate Torte
citrus caramel, canilla bean chantilly
And then I made a wish – but that’s a secret!
We had a great night out at Morris East and the food was fantastic. And while we did feel that the pizzas were a little steeply priced, the meal was a good value overall. We also brought our own wine – a pinot noir to go with my mushroom pizza – and the corkage fee was just $15.