In the latest edition of the Sustainable Seafood Series, I had the opportunity to speak with chef Paolo Colberto of a fantastic resto – an institution really – jane’s on the common (and yes, it IS supposed to be spelled all lowercase!) Jane’s has been a staple on the Halifax dining scene for years and is a venerable “must” for brunch. A well-loved, neighbourhood resto, jane’s provides sustainable seafood options on its menu. As a matter of fact, conscious consumers can get meals created with sustainable seafood at any time of day; lunch, brunch or dinner. Chef Colberto and I chatted regarding jane’s philosophy on the matter, and how jane’s reflects its social responsibility to buy local and seek out sustainable seafood for its menu.
Colberto tries to take advantage of the occasional gem that fishermen will make available, saying that “Anything (sustainable) we can buy, we do and sell it as a special.” Even though it isn’t possible to have these items on the menu all the time, at least this resto is making an effort to include them on an ‘available basis‘, thereby supporting local fishermen and providing sustainably caught seafood.
There have been a lot of changes to jane’s menu as new information comes in with regards to sustainable fishing and growing practices. Paolo says that they have had to remove some favourite menu items due to the unavailability of the seafood. Jane’s shrimp cakes were one such casualty of the menu rehaul. This decision had to be made as the only shrimp available were from overseas, which didn’t fall in line with their buy local philosophy.
Most menu items have remained unchanged, however, and are some of jane’s best sellers. The biscuit crusted haddock is still a crowd favorite on both the lunch and dinner menu and the lobster sandwich and chowder is equally a hit.
On a side note to the sustainable seafood, if you have food allergies or sensitivities, you should check out all the dietary considerations offered at jane’s. There are several gluten-free options and some items can be made gluten-free upon request. There are also several options catering to a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle.